Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

From the outside, they look like a perfectly normal family.  From the inside, they are anything but.

Anke’s father is abusive to her siblings but he never even seems to notice her.  She is just the footstool in the corner, watching the horrific events unfold.  Usually she is grateful for her invisibility because it is the thing that keeps her from her father’s violence, but even more horrifying are the times when she is jealous of her brother and sister.  After all, if her father doesn’t notice her, it must mean that he doesn’t love her.  Anke relates mostly to her mother who turns a blind eye to the abuse, who remembers when he was a different person.

When Anke decides to go out for volleyball, she begins to change.  She has to yell for the ball and it helps her find her voice.  Plus, she becomes a part of the team and she makes friends with a girl names Rona whose own family is troubled.  The more she plays, the less comfortable Anke is with the things around her.  She begins to notice more of the abuse and how her father interacts with other people and she also grows sick of not being seen and not being important.  Is it enough to make her raise her voice against him?  Will doing so destroy her family or save it?

I enjoyed this book in verse and it really made me think.  It took a while to warm up to it but before long I could feel that raw punch of emotion.  I couldn’t help but cheer Anke on in her games and in life.

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