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Because I Am Furniture

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  5,338 Ratings  ·  615 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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Sep 07, 2016 Kristy rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 27, 2009 Cornmaven rated it it was ok
Shelves: high-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2009 Becky rated it liked it
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
May 04, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
{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,
May 09, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda Abernethy
Jan 01, 2015 Amanda Abernethy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
Goodreads asks "what do you think? " Well, where do I begin? I read this book in one sitting, roughly one hour. Took me roughly another hour to return to reality.

Written in verse, a form I absolutely love, when done correctly, I am Furniture unravels the lives of a family plagued by abuse - sexual, physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The story reveals the rawness of emotion and the roller coaster of feelings that exist when an individual develops her ability to want something better.

There w
Jul 21, 2009 Alex rated it liked it
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
Oct 31, 2010 Hanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 8th-grade, creepy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2014 Brianna rated it really liked it
To be perfectly honest, this book would have been better in my opinion if it was not poetry. Poetry is just not my thing. The character development of Anke was great, she finally spoke up about what was going on at home. You got to read what you got to read in school. Still a good book though.
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
Apr 26, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 17, 2012 Sherry rated it really liked it
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
Shayne Bauer
Aug 18, 2016 Shayne Bauer rated it it was ok
Maybe a 2.5. The abuse in this book is just too much for me. I can honestly say that this is the only book that has ever made me really uncomfortable. It is written in verse, which works well for the plot, but the content seems so forced. The main character gets her "voice" to speak out against her father from playing volleyball. The symbolism is not subtle enough to be effective, and with the tree thrown in at the end, it just seems like a weak attempt to parallel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson ...more
Mar 10, 2015 Tess rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tess by: My Teacher
This book is one that should definitely have some kind of formal trigger warning included. It devastated me to the point of tears, made me nauseous with fury, and disturbed me more than anything else that I have read before, but it was also so beautiful and eye-opening. This story shines a light on domestic abuse in a very true and realistic way, and gives insight into the lives of so many who are suffering. And in the end, while it is very disturbing, it is a beautiful book about a reality in o ...more
Katie Herring
Jun 17, 2016 Katie Herring rated it liked it
Shelves: verse
This was a disgustingly sad novel, yet full of hope. I like verse novels and this was one of the better ones. A quick read where each page flowed together.

I'm so proud of Anke, I really felt attached after reading her story.

This is not a happy family. Warnings of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse from the father.
Dec 30, 2014 Allye rated it really liked it
Although I didn't absolutely love the writing, the story was good, which made up for it. It was a quick read and my last of 2014!
Jan 25, 2016 Destiny rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I thought this book was good. I enjoyed it as I read through, but I wish more happened. Anke was ignored by her family and wanted to speak up for things that happened within it. I predicted she would raise her voice by the end of the book, and she did. The ending was a happy ending for her and her family. I think because she spoke up, her family was able to live a happier and more normal life. I was glad when she spoke up, because I didn't think anybody else would have.

Dec 16, 2014 Angie rated it liked it
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
Mar 10, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: atypical, poetry
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
Jan 08, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it
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
Kennedy Harless
Nov 04, 2015 Kennedy Harless rated it it was amazing
Because I Am Furniture is a poetic and riveting story that sheds light on a dark and secretive lifestyle of a family dynamic that is unknown to the public eye. The book focuses on the relationship between a fourteen-year-old girl named Anke and her lunatic of a father. Unfortunately it is common to see that many younger children often feel neglected because of various reasons including siblings or their parents occupations. However, Anke feels particularly disowned by her father because of his m ...more
Educating Drew
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

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
Jun 15, 2010 Tessa rated it really liked it
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

I mean, I'm not a huge fan of free verse, but I really dug the style in which Chaltas chose to tell this story.

Quick recap: Anke is the youngest of three and lives invisibly at home. Her father neither praises her nor does he shower the abuse on her that her brother and sister receive. Not only is she invisible, but also she is silent. She witnesses but feels powerless. That is, until volleyball challenges her and then her father goes one step too far...

I love the repetition which free verse
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
Dec 09, 2012 Aleyda rated it really liked it
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
Sevannah Mckeeman
Dec 04, 2011 Sevannah Mckeeman rated it really liked it
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
Kristen Ottesen
Dec 11, 2014 Kristen Ottesen rated it it was amazing
This book is written in verse, and is about a fourteen-year-old girl, Anke, who's father is very abusive and makes her feel practically invisible. It's not until Anke tries out for and makes the volleyball team that she finally gains the courage to stand up to her father and use her voice to save her friend from her father. Underneath this story, lies a deeper, more inspiring story full of inspiration, and a girl who finds herself.
I liked this book for many reasons. One of the main reasons I li
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about the book 1 2 Sep 23, 2014 07:14AM  
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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...

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“I got an A on the third quiz in American history,
an A,
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.”
“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.”
More quotes…