Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher

This is an intense, emotional, character driven novel about the friendship between teenagers Eric Calhoune and Sarah Byrnes.

Eric was a fat kid – a really fat kid – but he has slimmed down since joining the school swim team.  Sarah Byrnes has horrible burn scars from a childhood accident – leaving her with a disfigured face and hands.  Eric and Sarah have been best friends since they were young, bonding over their shared outcast status from the other kids at school.  But now Sarah has stopped talking or responding to anyone and has been committed to a Psych ward.  Eric goes to visit her everyday, talking to her and trying to work out what has driven Sarah to totally withdraw from the world.

This is the basis of the story, but there is so much more to it than that.  This is a compelling, complex novel that draws you in, moves you and leaves you marveling at the strength of victim of abuse.

Read more about the author, Chris Crutcher, on his website.

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