Poignant and real, Butter will resonate with teen readers who have ever had a weight problem or known someone who battles food demons.
For morbidly obese Marshall, life revolves around food. He can easily eat an entire bag of Doritos, a sack of M&Ms , a tub of ice cream and still have room for more. The saxophone is the only outlet he has from food--that, and chatting online with Anna. Anna thinks she’s talking to a boy from another school who plays the saxophone; she has no idea she’s talking to the fat kid in her class.
School is misery for Butter (Marshall). No one really talks to him, and he has no friends. He sits alone in the cafeteria, shunned by the pretty, the popular, and the slender. He has a special bench he sits on since he can’t fit in any of the regular seats. Butter gets angry when he sees a news report of how an airline will begin charging overweight people for two seats instead of one.
Butter sets up a website and calls it “butterslastmeal.” He invites others to comment on his plan to literally eat himself to death on New Year’s Eve. He expects to get insults and rude comments, but instead he finds popularity for the first time. Mean guys who forced him to eat an entire stick of butter, and then nicknamed him Butter are now his BFF’s. They move his bench to their table and seemingly care about having an actual conversation with him. Students rally around Butter’s plan; they have a morbid fascination to see if Butter will go through with his suicide plan.
Anna is waiting for New Year’s Eve when she will finally meet “Saxman,” her internet crush. Butter plans to go to the party on New Year’s Eve where all the events will unravel. Will Butter go through with it? What if he does? What will happen if he doesn’t?
Highly recommended grade 8-up. Some language, some drinking at a party, coke is mentioned but no one actually has it or does it, bullying, and some mature themes. I purchased this book for the library but would warn others that the language issues and underage partying may be offensive. 294 pages Ages 14 and up
Recommended by: Pamela Thompson, Librarian, Texas USA