Because I Am Furniture
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Because I Am Furniture

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,896 ratings  ·  503 reviews
Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” t...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 16th 2009 by Viking Juvenile
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Kristy
This is disgusting, disturbing, horrific and sad
yet so beautiful and honest.
So deep and moving,
So heart-wrenching.
How terrifying it must be
to be terrified of your own Father.
How mind-f*&^ing it must be
to want any attention from him,
to be jeaouls of your sisters rape,
to desire to be beaten
or yelled at
just something to know he knows you exist.
How powerful you must feel
knowing you are the reason he was sent to jail,
how powerless you must feel to know he is now out.
You are no longer furnature.
Yo...more
Cornmaven
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
I am always there.
But they don't care if I am
because I am furniture.

I don't get hit
I don't get fondled
I don't get love
because I am furniture

Suits me fine.

Anke has a difficult home life, though that is putting it mildly. Her father is abusive. She sees all. Hears all. Yet though a witness, she's somehow avoided being the subject of his abuse. (Though witnessing it is damaging enough as it is.) Can a teen girl break out of her silence and get help for her troubled family?

Because I Am Furniture is...more
Sarah
{This review was originally published on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}

Thalia Chaltas' Because I am Furniture exemplifies the unique power of novels in verse. There are a lot of yougn adultnovels about family violence, and many of them are excellent. However, in Because I am Furniture, the verse form allows the reader to experience the house of horrors in which Anke, the main character, lives.

Fourteen year-old Anke's siblings are terrorized by their abusive father while her mother passively watches,...more
Alex
Because I Am Furniture is written in verse, and it works. It's quite a powerful novel that deals with an interesting subject: child abuse. Of course, we've seen it, read it, heard it all before. But Anke's not the one being abused, she's the witness of the abuse, which is probably equally as tough.

Even though it's a thick enough book, because it's in verse, it goes very quickly. I was able to read it in one day, almost in one go. I however, thought that maybe it was a little too short. There per...more
Sandra
Not only are the verses in this book beautifully written with meaningful poetic devices, if you're inclined toward noting that sort of thing, the topic is unfortunately, always contemporary.

There's so much I could say about this fantastic book, but I'll focus in on a couple of points. Anke believes it's better to be like a piece of furniture in her family. Those who are noticed are hit and sexually used and abused. She's the youngest and somehow ignored in nearly every aspect of the family's lif...more
Hanna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Josie
Mar 19, 2012 Josie added it
This is a poetry book that is about a freshman girl named Anke who definitely lives a hard life. Anke tries as hard as she can to live a normal life, but her father makes that impossible. Her father is a child abuser and sexual harasser. He abuses Anke's brother and sister, but strangely not her. She goes unnoticed, hence the name "Because I Am Furniture". Throughout the story she watches her father's rage on her siblings and is too scared to do anything about it. The story isn't all bad though....more
Alea
Books written in verse are interesting. You would automatically think they would be easier to write because there are less words etc but I think they are actually harder to write. Having to get across just as much information and emotion with fewer words, each word holds greater meaning. I think this book does a wonderful job of telling a very emotional and important story with so few words.

I thought this would be really hard to read, and while it was it was also an empowering and hopeful book....more
Sherry
My students love verse novels and depressing books where horrible real things happen. This book is on our 2012-2013 Eliot Rosewater nominee list and I'm positive all my copies will stay checked out. This book fits the bill of containing both depressing and horribly real situations: a dysfunctional family with an abusive father. The main character is like furniture in her family of 5. Her father extends no abuse physical or sexual towards her but instead focuses it in her brother and sister. She...more
Tessa
I took a break from my current fantasy/fairytale kick to read this. The title was so compelling I couldn't just pass it by on the library shelf. And the description on the inside jacket cover got me hooked. It was very well written. The story would have lost so much if it had been written in prose. The poetry fit so well.

3 out of 4 cases of abuse go unreported (or some similar statistic). Victims excuse the abuser and continually return to them. I've always had a hard time understanding how thi...more
Lauren
Apr 26, 2009 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Because I Am Furniture is a book that tackles many hard subjects such as rape, verbal and physical abuse. Thalia defiantly doesn't shy away from the hard parts with these topics, making this a gripping and startling novel told in verse style.

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of verse, with the exception of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sones, because of the lack of character and plot development that they usually have. With Because I Am Furniture it worked perfectly with the story, because both were ragge...more
Audrey (holes In My brain)
Full review can be found on my blog.

My thoughts:

I think the correct feeling I had when I finished this book is that I wished it was more. More emotional, more depth to the characters, more engaging to the reader. It was undoubtedly all of these things, but not to the point where I was a sobbing mess or screaming at the characters.

The abuse portrayed in this novel is described with the best mix of detached denial and up-close horror. Anke’s feelings about it is conflicted which both surprised me...more
Angie
Because I Am Furniture was an interesting twist on YA issues books. Normally, it’s narrated by the person being abused and we see how it makes them feel and how they handle (or don’t handle) the situation. Instead, Because I Am Furniture is told by fourteen-year-old Anke, whose brother and sister are abused by their father. He essentially leaves Anke alone, not even acknowledging her presence on most days. Sometimes when he does have something to say to her, or he wants to punish her for some tr...more
Sevannah Mckeeman
When I started reading because I am furniture I felt really bad for Anke because her father and mother treated her like she wasn't even there. But my favorite part of the book is when Anke makes the volleyball team because she finally feels like she is being excepted. My favorite character is Kyler because he treats Anke how she should be treated and she finally starts to feel not neglected.I am surprised when Anke finally stands up to her dad. I liked the way the author wrote the book , in poet...more
Julia
Jan 08, 2011 Julia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julia by: Hanna
I started this book because I had to read a poetry book for school. My sister had read it and recommended it, though she warned that it was corny and kind of dumb. I thought that the whole volleyball part would be a bit strange, but it wasn't too bad.
This book is about a girl named Anke, whose father abuses her two older siblings but never her, making her feel like furniture. She would rather be abused than ignored. (However, I somewhat disagree with this. Her dad didn't IGNORE her, he just d...more
Ashley
I was a little disappointed in this book because it had so much potential. I love reading novels in verse, because it allows you an insight into the mind, thoughts and feelings of a character without the distraction of endless descriptions, explanations and commentary. It is, simply, what they are.
This novel didn't really do that. There was so much potential with the story. A girl who lives in a severly abusive home who is ignored by her father, and everyone else within the home and finds herse...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

Anke lives in a house full of fear. Fear of her father. His temper can flair at any moment and everyone around him suffers. Anke's brother and sister take the physical abuse and Anke is, for the most part, ignored in the house. She feels she has no choice but to sit back and witness what is going on around her. Sometimes she even feels jealous of the attention her brother and sister get, no matter how horrible that attention is.

Anke has one bright...more
Aleyda
I chose this book because it looked very interesting. It had said "Anke's Father is Abusive" and I have always wondered how the child would feel about his/her father. This book is about a girl named Anke. She has an abusive father who hits her mother, brother , & sister but, the dad never touches her. Her family doesn't say anything about the father , they just let it go. Anke joins a volleyball team where each time she has to scream out "Mine" everytime she goes for the ball. In that team s...more
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Because I am furniture. / Thalia Chaltas. / 2009.

Genre: Young Adult - Realistic Fiction.

Format: Book - print (in verse). 352 pages.

Plot summary:
“The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action” (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
child a...more
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
The Short of It

Being ignored can be abusive too.

The Long of It

Anke lives in a tumultuous world. Her father is abusive to everyone in the household except her. Immediately you can see her struggle between not wanting the abuse, but then still wishing that she was at least acknowledged, even if that means, being abused. Anke also has a problem with the silence. Why isn’t anyone talking about what is happening? Why are your siblings and mom remaining silent?

The Thoughts about It

The novel is told in...more
Sarah
Then there is the theme and perspective of the story itself. It's such a serious topic - an abusive father and the family he impacts. It is a heart-breaking story. Yet we get to see the story from Anke's perspective. She is not physically abused like her brother or sexually abused like her sister, so this feels like a unique perspective. We often hear stories from the perspective of those abused themselves, but what does it feel like to be the one ignored, forgotten about, and feeling powerless...more
Patricia J. O'Brien
This is the second verse novel I've read recently that knocked me over. Gorgeously written and a very powerful story. BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE is told from the POV of a high school freshman who feels like a piece of furniture, being unnoticed by her family; the truth is that her father is physically abusive to her sister and brother, a fate she doesn't really want. Despite some very harrowing events, Anke finds her own value and voice in the world.

Here are some samples of writing style:

"When the g...more
Veronica
Age of Readership:

12-14 years

Genre:

Realistic fiction/Novel in Verse

Diversity:

Physically/emotionally abused child; Middle class families

Personal Response:

This is the first novel I read that is written entirely in verse. However, it was quite a good read. Each poem clearly depicted a scene and yet kept the plot forward moving. The story is all about a girl trying to find her voice, while having to endure her siblings and mother get abused by her father. She does not get abused, and must deal with...more
Alicia
This novel in verse might seem thick, yes, it's thick with pages but also with a coming-of-age richness like Speak or How To Build A House. Anke is the "invisible" child who isn't abused by her father like her brother and sexually abused by her father like her sister.

Anke likens herself to furniture in the house, but because she isn't the target, she's able to secretly pursue her enjoyment in volleyball, friendship, and the attentions of a boy. Until, like Melinda in Speak, she finds her voice...more
Kate
The topic of this book interested me because there aren't too many books that deal with the subject of neglect. The fact that it is written in the form of poetry made it even more interesting.

Fourteen-year-old Anke's brother and sister bear the brunt of their father's wrath, but he ignores Anke so much that she feels like a piece of furniture. It makes her wish that he would beat her, just so she would know he cared about her at all. Through the volleyball team at school, Anke gains a sense of b...more
Lindsey Wasserman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
14-year-old Anke has mixed feelings about being ignored by her father. Every child wants attention and approval from their parents, but at the same time Anke dreads it. Anke's father is abusive to her brother, sister, and mother. She lives in fear that he will start in on her. The novel vividly portrays Anke's mixed feelings and growing fear as her body begins to mature. She wants to stop the abuse, but she is afraid that if she does so she will break up the family--and then, how will they survi...more
Wendy
What a disturbing book. I couldn't put it down though. It is sad but true that this is what happens in some families. Good for Anke having the courage to say no!
Suzanne
For fans of Ellen Hopkins or other authors who use the novel in verse format, this book would probably score a little higher. The subject matter is sexual and physical abuse on the part of the protagonist Anke's college professor father. The title has to do with Anke's confusion over why her father attacks her brother and sister, intimidates the hell out of their mother, and except for bothering her about playing volleyball--he not being a fan of competitive sports--hardly pays her any attention...more
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Thalia Chaltas (Author, Because I Am Furniture, Viking, 2009) worked hard at her luck to get her Young Adult novel Because I Am Furniture published by Viking. She has been writing for children since just before the turn of the century. The current century. Running her medical transcription business has taught her the value of editing, since most physicians don’t sound brilliant without a transcrip...more
More about Thalia Chaltas...
Displacement

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“I got an A on the third quiz in American history,
an A,
dammit.
Last time I got a B
up from a C
and my father said,
"if you can get a C
you can get a B,
if you can get a B
you can get an A."-
I got an A
and my father said,
"grades don't mean anything.”
75 likes
“I never realized
till now
how hard the brain has to work
to make the body do what it asks.

Or maybe how hard the body has to work
to ignore
the brain.”
30 likes
More quotes…