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Because I Am Furniture

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  6,072 ratings  ·  725 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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Casle Probably not. You should definitely read it first. I would choose a Helen Frost book. Either Diamond Willow, or Hidden. Probably Hidden. Verse, but…moreProbably not. You should definitely read it first. I would choose a Helen Frost book. Either Diamond Willow, or Hidden. Probably Hidden. Verse, but well thought, structured, with hidden secret poems that you find out about at the end. A wonderful story about 2 girls who meet at camp, age 14, and realize they've seen each other before. I don't enjoy one dimensional characters, and Helen Frost doesn't write them.
Because I am Furniture is painful, and sometimes graphic, and a worthwhile read, but the verse seems... like she didn't want to write complete sentences. Karen Hesse's novels in verse are also excellent.


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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,072 ratings  ·  725 reviews

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Sep 28, 2010 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, ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This is the kind of book that they need to have in schools, because child abuse and domestic violence is still alarmingly common and still not a whole lot of kids speak out about it because they don't know how or what the consequences will be. Because I Am Furniture is an empowering story of one girl struggling to find her voice, not just in sports but also in the attempt to save her siblings from the brunt of her father's abuse. She's always been the lucky one, largely ignored by him and thus able to av ...more
Dec 27, 2009 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 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 silen
Amanda D'Alonzo
Jan 01, 2015 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
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The plot was good and the verse was actually not terrible, but the ending felt abrupt and I didn't really connect to the characters at all.
Apr 29, 2012 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 adult novels 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 watch
May 07, 2012 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
Nov 12, 2014 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.
Jul 21, 2009 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 shor
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 8th-grade, creepy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Green
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, poetry-or-verse
Although hard to read, I am glad that I read this book. It was recommended by a teen at the library I volunteer at. I was somewhat surprised that there were not resources in the back of this book on how to identify and report abuse and would have liked to have seen that.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-novels
This was a heartbreaking look at abuse within a family, and most times I forgot about the story being written in verse.

Anke lives in a nightmare. Her father repeatedly beats her older brother, rapes her older sister, and terrorizes their mother, who does nothing to stop the abuse. But Anke is, for the most part, left alone. She struggles between feeling relieved that her father rarely chooses to speak or acknowledge her and feeling hurt that he doesn't "show his love" in some way. Sh
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
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 conflic
Lizzie Miller
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book if you like sappy stories it is a sad story to begin with it is about a girl whose family ignores her. She has an abusive father but only to her brother and sister. Her dad ignored her all the time. Anke's older siblings, Darren and Yaicha, put up with the abuse their father gives to them and act as though nothing is really going on. She goes out for the volleyball team and makes varsity she is a good volleyball player but her dad doesn’t like competition so he doesn’t l ...more
Dec 18, 2008 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
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ho
Mar 19, 2012 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 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
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Shayne Bauer
Aug 18, 2016 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
Katie R. Herring
Jan 17, 2016 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 23, 2014 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!
Anke is the youngest of 3 children and has just begun her freshman year in high school. When she was little she adored her handsome professor father who played with his children and read to them. Now that they are teenagers, sister Yaicha and brother Darren receive all of Dad's attention and Anke feels ignored. Unfortunately, that loving father has changed over the years and attention he shows to his two oldest children leaves bruises and secret sessions in bedrooms. Anke knows that she is lucky ...more
Sam Lyon
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Anke has a different kind of family. Her brother and sister are physically, verbally, and sexually abused by their father. Even though Anke is not abused in these ways she is invisible in her house and feels like she has no voice. She feels like furniture in a way. Thalia Chaltas was a very good writer and I would read other books by her. One of her strengths I noticed was that she was able to get across a big point in a just a small amount of words. I think this because the book is written some ...more
Brea Fryett
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Because I Am Furniture is a book written in verse and convoys story about a girl named, Anke, who is living in a home where no one really notices her. But its better then what her sister or brother have to go through. There are many conflicts throughout the book including person vs. person, person vs. self, and person vs. society. Some of my favorite parts in the book are when Anke makes the volleyball team after having doubts about it. And her Dad saying she needs to stop. Another part is when ...more
Savannah Fowler
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
tittle: Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. Genre: poetry
Setting: doesn't say a year or a specific time but it does take place in the girls homes.
The main idea is that this family has an abusive father/husband and the main girl is trying to get her family to tell someone about what is happening. The theme of the book is to not wait to tell someone if something bad is happening that could endanger you this is what the theme is to me.
my favorite part is how brave this perso
Hannah Michaels
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book had some tough material in it, and it was told in verse. Very interesting to read. Even though there were few words, there was such a big story. Simplistic writing that said exactly what needed to be said. And you weren't missing anything. Highly recommend!
Brooke Ritchie
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was beautiful. It was kind of hard to read sometimes, but i really enjoyed it and it made me feel nice at the end. It was a hard topic but it was worth it for me.
Alana Stephens
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great, great book. I could read it a thousand times over.
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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
“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…