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All of Me

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Beautifully written, brilliant, and necessary, (Matt de la Pena, Newbery Medalist), here is a body-positive book about how a boy deals with fat-shaming.

Ari has body-image issues. After a move across the country, his parents work selling and promoting his mother's paintings and sculptures. Ari's bohemian mother needs space to create, and his father is gone for long stretch
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: June 15th 2021 by Square Fish (first published June 11th 2019)
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Cathy Definitely MG, but I think it would appeal to 9th or 10th grade readers as well.
Grace Because I need reasoning to support my response of how I see Ari as I am reading ALL OF ME!
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  377 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Jenny Baker
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, childrens
Who Am I?
The life in my head seems
so different from the life outside,
where I am so big
that everyone stares,
but no one sees the real me.

What a poignant story! I’m worried that this book will slip through the cracks and go unnoticed. I truly hope it doesn’t. It’s a wonderful story written in verse about a seventh grade boy, Ari, who struggles with his weight and body image.

What I loved about this story is that you get a deeper understanding of Ari’s emotional issues and his fee
Gail Shepherd
It takes a lot to make crusty old me dissolve into a puddle of tears, but Chris Baron’s debut verse novel ALL OF ME had me pretty much bawling from page 100. This is the most moving MG novel I’ve read about how it feels to be a “big” kid on a very deep level. Beyond the taunting and bullying Ari experiences, Baron gets into Ari’s clothes, into his skin, describing precisely how it feels for a waist band to dig into flesh, the extreme vulnerability of wearing a bathing suit, a shirt hiked up to e ...more
Adam Heine
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest. I rarely read verse novels or contemporary fiction. I read this book mainly because I had the honor of editing a near-final version of it.

I definitely don't say this about all the books I work on, but this book grabbed me from the first chapter and didn't let me go. The characters, the story, the prose, the poetry—all of it is beautiful and engaging. I finished reading this book wanting to be a better person. That's the highest praise I can give.
Kristin Crouch
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the author and MacMillan Publishing for sharing an ARC with Collabookation.
Ari is fat, and the other kids at school never cease reminding him of it. Ari has always been bigger than the other kids, but the continued harassment is beginning to take its toll on his self-image. When he turns to self-harm, his mother knows she needs to find him help. This book is the tale of Ari finding himself ~ who he is on the inside, instead of defining himself the way the rest of the world has chose
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This has one major point in its favor (male character struggling with weight rather than female), a few fairly average issues (the writing felt far more adult than middle grade in places; more than one plotline or character seemed to trail off and disappear with little resolution; although the story seemed to be taking place in the current time based on mentions of cell phones the cultural interests of the young characters seemed to have been arrested in the eighties; the Judaism that they keep ...more
Karol Silverstein
Growing up overweight is a special kind of hell and Chris Baron articulates it perfectly in this beautiful novel in verse. Ari's dilemma is so much more than mean names and husky jeans and his solution requires much more than the diet book his doctor gives him. It's as much an emotional struggle as it is a physical one. Told in lyrical poems spanning a summer where everything changes for Ari, we go for the ride with him, traveling comfortably in the pocket of his ever-loosening pants. We feel ev ...more
Rajani LaRocca
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this luminous novel before it was published. Written in verse, ALL OF ME is the story of Ari, a 13-year-old boy growing up in the San Francisco area after recently moving from New York. Ari is overweight, and as a result he has to deal with not-so-subtle and sometimes brutal bullying from other kids. This book is about a summer Ari spends at the beach with his mom, a bohemian artist, and his friends. It's about his journey to lose weight, prepare for his Bar ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, kids
There is something almost kaleidoscopic about this novel in verse, which beautifully layers themes of loss, friendship, acceptance and emotional growth.

Ari is a boy unhappy in his own skin. Although he struggles with a cross-country move and his parents’ relationship problems, the main thing that troubles Ari is his weight—there’s too much of it. When he becomes a target, he embarks on a diet, and many changes ensue.

Although some of this book is about what Ari hopes to lose, it is also very mu
Malayna Evans
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This main character grabs you by the heartstrings on page one and doesn't let go. This heart-warming, sometimes painful, sometimes comforting read is loaded with problems, challenges and tender moments many readers will identify with. Loved every single page! ...more
Joshua Levy
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ari struggles with his weight. With his family. With preparing for his bar mitzvah. But while Ari struggles, he also triumphs. Succeeds in coming to terms with the imperfections in himself and in the world around him. Ari's journey in ALL OF ME (which I had the privilege of reading as an ARC, pre-publication) is at once familiar and extraordinary. The kind of novel that is needed by--and will be so valuable to--kids uncomfortable in their own skin for any number of reasons. And, speaking on a pe ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a gorgeous book! There is so much to this story, all circling around Ari's search for himself beyond his weight (which is certainly a piece of him). From painful moments that include bullying and self-harm to the highs that come from time spent with friends, Ari gradually becomes comfortable in his own skin and worthy of all the love, including self-love. Such a great story to tell in verse, with lovely images peppered throughout. Absolutely loved this! ...more
While the writing in this novel in verse is elegant and personal, there were parts of the protagonist's weight loss journey that seemed unrealistic to me. Ari Rosensweig hasn't had the best year as a seventh grader after his family's move from New York City to San Francisco. Because of his size and being Jewish and new to the area, he's bullied and belittled by classmates Mark and Frank, and even beaten up at one point. It's clear that his parents aren't getting along, and he often is left to hi ...more
Karen McKenna
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to read an eARC (something I usually try to avoid because I love holding a book in my hands) of this novel-in-verse, and I became so engrossed in Ari's story I could not put it down. His voice is raw, capturing all of the insecurities of coming of age. The characters are human and flawed. The story of Ari's struggle with his self image, his weight, and his parents' fighting is brutally honest. There is no magical cure, but through the course of the story Ari finds small pi ...more
Oh my heart! Ari’s story is written in verse and is a raw and wonderfully honest look at what it’s like to grow up overweight. The cruelty of other people, the struggle to love oneself, dressing in clothes that don’t fit, the diet book that almost taunts him and is ever in his mind.

With parents that are going through a divorce and Ari’s newfound feeling for his best friend, Lisa, there are a lot of other things happening. Ari’s rabbi adds a gentle touch with his wisdom and caring for a lost sou
Jess Redman
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ALL OF ME is a raw and powerful novel-in-verse about the summer after Ari Rosensweig finishes seventh grade. All his life, Ari has heard and seen and felt this question coming from others: Why are you so fat? His artist mother and often-disappearing father are divorcing. At school, he is bullied, and he desperately wants to fit in.

Ari feels all of this deeply and fully and often so heartbreakingly. And over this summer, while building friendships and testing out a diet and preparing for his bela
Naomi Milliner
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"My life doesn't feel good enough, and I don't know how to change it." Your heart will absolutely shatter as Ari struggles with his weight, searches for answers, and yearms to discover who he is. What does it mean to be a man? A friend? A son? A good person? The questions he grapples with are universal, and the language in this eloquent debut novel-in-verse is breathtaking. This is book is honest and real and beautiful. Ari will stay with me for a very long time. ...more
Amanda Rawson Hill
This is a beautiful book that really does a good job of being a bridge between MG and YA. There is a character trying to lose weight in this story, so if you don't want that in a body image narrative, be aware. But the whole point of the book is that this boy is so much more than his weight, even though that is what everyone sees. A very moving look at growing up. ...more
Deborah Maroulis
Ugh, my heart. Chris Baron has captured the authentic voice of every insecure adolescent and combines it with heart-wrenching imagery. Told in verse, Ari's story is both intensely personal and entirely universal. I cried real tears and laughed out loud as I devoured the pages. ...more
Alex  Baugh
Seventh-grader Ari Rosensweig is the new kid in school and not very happy about it. His family has just moved from New York to San Francisco, where his parents are in the business of promoting his mother's artwork. Now, he has to face new kids who will just see him as a fat boy and not who he really is - a kid who likes to ride his bike, play video games, make up role-playing games and has an interest in cryptozoology.

Over the course of seventh grade, Ari is brought to a rabbi for bar mitzvah pr
Sarah R. Baughman
I feel so fortunate to have read an ARC of this very engaging, beautifully crafted novel in verse. The poetry is gorgeous and accessible; the MC and supporting characters complex, interesting, and sympathetic; the message empowering. Ari worked his way into my heart on the first page and never left it.
Danielle Hammelef
I enjoy novels in verse and this one was one of the best because of the honest, not-holding-back way it portrayed bullying, body-shaming, learning to accept yourself and the body God gave you, as well as friendship, family drama, and first crushes. This is a book for all shelves, for all readers, including adults. I am so happy I finally bought a copy and it may be reread many times. I needed this book in my life as a kid and could identify with so much inside. Highly recommended.
Justin Olson
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully touching MG poetry in verse novel about a boy learning to like his body (and himself) over a summer.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. I went in hoping to find some quality fat representation, Jewish representation, and a great upper MG/bridge to YA book. And I understand why a lot of people have had a positive reaction to an emotional story about a fat 7th grader coming into his own and finding some sort of self-love. But I didn't get that from this book.

What I read was a story about a boy who is told he is fat by everyone around him and that being fat is bad. However he seems like a fairly
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-in-verse
All of Me by Chirs Baron is a phenomenal novel in verse. The story is about the summer of a middle school aged boy Ari. Throughout his life Ari has struggled with his body image, and this summer he goes on a diet and visits a psychologist after harming himself. I believe that this novel does an amazing job telling a story that many middle aged children can relate to no matter their gender identity. The novel also weaves in additional struggles Ari is having with his friendships, religious obliga ...more
Remy Lai

Told in beautiful verse, it's about a boy Ari who deals with being overweight. But he's really so much more than the number on the scale.

A moving and raw story that will stay with me.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a privilege to be an early reader of this book written by my student’s dad. Excellent!
I had been eyeing this book on Twitter for quite some time and I finally worked up the courage to ask the author for an ARC to read, review and share with #LitReviewCrew. I love novels in verse, as I am always amazed how such rich stories can be told with so few words. I was also drawn to the book because, like me, the main character is Jewish. There are so few realistic fiction books for the middle grade reader with a Jewish protagonist. Additionally, the book appealed to me because it addresse ...more
Sandy Brehl
This verse novel is an accessible and engaging journey through the summer of an early teen coming to terms with the volatile forces of puberty, divorce, isolation, a disruptive move, preparing for Bar Mitzvah, and becoming "a man" without becoming violent.
Quite a weighty load, right?
At the root of all that is the fact that Ari has been a version of "husky", chunky, fatso, and self-hating for as long as he can recall. The weightiness of being teased, bullied, and severely attacked by others is n
Nicole M. Hewitt
This review and many more will be found on my blog on 1/15: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This middle grade novel in verse chronicles a seventh grade boy’s struggle with his weight, but it also goes much deeper than that. While, on the surface, Ari’s issues stem from his weight and the bullying that comes with it, the underlying issues that have led to his unhealthy eating are at this story’s forefront. Ari sees his family breaking apart, he has trouble adjusting after a move and he feels like an o
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so few books out there about overweight boys. I gravitated towards this one right away due to the meed for the topic. Realized immediately that the book is "in verse" which I'm putting in quotation marks for a reason, but I overlooked that style that I don't normally like. And I"m so glad I did as this book was really powerful. (To me the "in verse" didn't feel like verse at all. No meter, no rhythm, it just felt like each sentence was on it's own line. That's a style choice as well, b ...more
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Baron is the author of ALL OF ME a middle grade novel in verse from Feiwel and Friends Spring 19. His next book, a MG novel in verse, THE MAGICAL IMPERFECT comes out June 2021. His first book of poetry, Under the Broom Tree, was released in 2012 on City Works Press as part of Lantern Tree:Four Books of Poems, which won the San Diego Book Award for best poetry anthology. He grew up in New York City ...more

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“Pizza is made of magic" -Ari” 0 likes
“Inside my skin
is the beach, and the sand,
the redwoods and pond water,
the feel of a kiss, wet on my lips,
a mountain climbed,
and fog forever,
boogie boards,
and sleeping mats,
stories and stories,
and real

None of it
heavy water.
Just me moving forward,
finding m own story.
More quotes…