All of Me

All of Me

"Beautifully written, brilliant, and necessary." --Matt de la Pena, Newbery MedalistAri 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 stretches of time on "sales" trips.Meanwhile, Ari makes new friends: Pick, t...

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Title:All of Me
Author:Chris Baron
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Edition Language:English

All of Me Reviews

  • 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

    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 expose too much skin, and the hunger, hunger, hunger that never seems to let up. In Ari Rosenberg’s life, so much revolves around the ever-present diet book, the way people look at him when he takes that extra piece of pizza, and the self-hatred that makes Ari actually damage himself – and it’s all heartbreaking.

    Although this is the story of a fat kid growing up, coming to terms with himself and making his way in the world, there’s much more going on: Ari’s artist mom and emotionally distant dad are divorcing; he’s negotiating the rituals for a bar mitzvah that may or may not happen; dealing with a crush on his best friend, Lisa, who has plenty of problems of her own; and making new friends during a California summer that is in many ways idyllic. There are deeply touching scenes with Ari’s rabbi, who is both gentle and wise.

    The verse is deftly handled and gorgeous; it feels just right for Ari’s sensibility. I truly loved this book, I loved Ari Rosenberg, and I hope ALL OF ME will find its way into every school library and into the hands of many middle grade readers, not only so big kids can see themselves portrayed with such sensitivity and beauty, but so that all kids can experience what being big feels like and share Ari’s hopeful and triumphant story.

    Note: ALL OF ME publishes in June, 2019. I read an Advance Readers Copy provided by the publisher.

  • Adam Heine

    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.

  • Kip

    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!

  • Joshua Levy

    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

    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 personal note, ALL OF ME is the kind of novel that I would have benefitted from when I was a kid as well.

    Written entirely in verse, Chris Baron's writing glows on every page with the warmth of California in the summer and Ari's kind, genuine self.

    I'm so very glad this book exists and future readers will be too.

  • Gillian

    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

    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 much about everything he gains, especially his friendships. Ari is lovable (even if he doesn’t know it!) and his story is important and relatable. Highly recommended.

  • Rajani LaRocca

    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

    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 Mitzvah, and become comfortable in his own skin. Ari is a thoughtful and kind young man, and his determined gentleness in the face of violence (verbal and physical) is one of the most remarkable things about this book. This is the kind of "boy" book we need: if anything is the antidote to "toxic masculinity," it's stories like this. Gorgeous writing transports the reader to the California coast, and to age 13, when anything is still possible, and the future is yet to be written.

  • 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

    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 every bit of his anguish, his determination, his satisfaction, his frustration and ultimately his sense of freedom that comes with accepting all of it, accepting

    .

    This is a book for everyone-those who are walking a path similar to Ari's, struggling to achieve self-acceptance for whatever reason, those who want to understand what it's like to be an overweight kid and (maybe especially) for those who think that being overweight is a simple matter of eating too much.

  • Kristin Crouch

    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

    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 chosen to.

    Written in verse, All of Me is open, honest, and raw. Ari's working through the changes puberty brings, his new feelings for girls, and his parents' disfunctional relationship. Through all these tumultuous times, he isn't scared to try to figure himself out. Introspective and wise, he takes the words of others, kind or unkind, to heart and dissects them. His work to become a man, the best man he can be, is an honor to witness. His sense of kindness and peacefulness aren't always welcomed, and more than one important person in his life demands that he 'man up.'

    Ari does just that. After all, adolescents do become adults, whether they want to or not. But Ari finds the control he needs to hold his head up high and be proud of himself at any weight or size.

    In a world that often stresses appearance over almost anything else, this book is a beacon to those children whose outside may not quite yet match their beauty on the inside.

    Highly recommended for students in grade 6 and up.

  • Malayna Evans

    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!

  • Jenny Baker

    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 feelings about

    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 feelings about his weight problem. He’s a likable boy, strong, and sensitive, and you want to pick him up every time somebody knocks him down. His character has a lot of growth and watching his transformation was so amazing and heartwarming.

    The author did a fantastic job allowing the reader to walk vicariously in Ari’s shoes, so that you can get an idea of what it feels like when people mistreat you because of your weight, and see the demons people face both internally and externally.

    This is an important story, one that shouldn’t be missed, especially in an era where the media tries to fit us all in a mold, and shames those that don’t fit in it. It’s a story about friendship, compassion, and empathy. It’s a lesson in understanding those around you and learning sensitivity, because we’re not made of steel, and your support could mean the world to somebody else.

    Highly recommended.

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