Add some “Butter”
Have you read Harry Potter? Twilight? Hunger Games?
If you’ve answered NO to any of these questions, you’re either lying or my husband. These popular series have pretty much embedded themselves into popular culture.
There’s few things that will make people stand in i-phone worthy lines like a new J.K Rowling book.
Young adult and children’s literature has grown rapidly in recent years. The pace is faster, the subjects are more intense; I sometimes wonder if I have the patience to read anything else?
I’m amazed at how YA (Young Adult) authors layer their plots like puff pastries and develop characters that literally talk to you from beyond the pages. Erin Jade Lange has done just that in her debut novel Butter, released September 4th , 2012.
A lonely obese boy everyone calls “Butter” is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn’t go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen’s battle with himself.
I’ve known about Butter for a while now as Erin and I share a common Beta reader (a friend who proof reads your novels). I was ecstatic to see her book on the shelves. Bought it and wasn’t disappointed. Butter tells a story that is thought provoking and vivid. Amazing job Erin!
Butter’s story, although extreme, unfortunately, is all too common. Many kids today battle with body image problems and bullying in school is an issue that we cannot ignore.
Most everyone can point back to an awkward phase in their childhood. In junior high, I was skinny, flat-chested, and ghostly pale. The braces, bad perm and scoliosis back brace that I wore at night, didn’t help with snagging a prom date either.
My friends called me “the white toothpick” and my non-friends said a lot worse. I laugh about it today but growing up, those words hurt and I had major self-confidence issues.
On the flip-side in an effort to fit in, I also became a bully. I once was part of a group of girls who tortured a former friend so badly that she had to move. Sorry Rachel if you’re out there. I wish I could say it in person.
Kids are stupid. I was stupid. Again, I am sorry.
The point is that bullying is ever so present. It WILL affect your children and it is up to us, as parents, to be vigilant of it. Don’t just try to protect your children from it but teach them to fight against it. Whether you are a victim, the bully, or someone that stands by and does nothing—bullying is wrong. Period.
Reading Butter reminds me of this all-too-important issue. Bravo Erin. Thank you for tackling such an important issue.
Butter is one of my top reads for teens. I highly recommend adding some Butter to your or your teen’s library.
More praise for Butter:
- “Rubbernecking the train wreck that is Butter’s last meal makes for an uncomfortably thought-provoking read.” – Kirkus Reviews
- “[A] strong, gutsy debut.” – Booklist (http://www.booklistonline.com/ProductInfo.aspx?pid=5462371&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1)
- “A clever, tender and emotional page-turner!” – author Courtney Summers
- “A timely topic with a hefty dose of in-your-face intensity, tempered by the droll sense of humor from an unexpectedly fierce narrator. Butter’s voice is loud, funny and unapologetic.” – author Daisy Whitney
Have you ever been bullied? Bullied someone else? Share with us.