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All of Me (Paperback)
A middle-grade debut novel in verse from Chris Baron about a boy struggling with body image and weight.
"Beautifully written, brilliant, and necessary." --Matt de la Pena, Newbery Medalist on All of Me
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 stretches of time on "sales" trips.
Meanwhile, Ari makes new friends: Pick, the gamer; the artsy Jorge, and the troubled Lisa. He is also relentlessly bullied because he's overweight, but he can't tell his parents—they're simply not around enough to listen.
After an upsetting incident, Ari's mom suggests he go on a diet, and she gives him a book to help. But the book—and the diet—can’t fix everything. As Ari faces the demise of his parents' marriage, he also feels himself changing, both emotionally and physically. Here is a much-needed story about accepting the imperfect in oneself and in life.
About the Author
Chris Baron is a professor of English at San Diego City College. He's also the author of the (adult) poetry collection, Lantern Tree, which was published as part of a poetry anthology, Under the Broom Tree, winner of the San Diego Book Award. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and their three children. All of Me is his first novel.
A Southern California Independent Booksellers Association BESTSELLER!
BookRiot Best Children's Books about Kindness
"If you have ever felt lost in the world, betrayed by your body or buoyed by a glimmer of hope or the glow of friendship, then All of Me could be your story, too." -The Los Angeles Times
"All of Me is for anyone who has been in search of a tribe, in love with a friend or in need of answers to questions that they can’t bring themselves to ask. In other words, everybody."
-- San Diego Union Tribune
"[A] beautifully written and psychologically acute debut. Readers will be glad to accompany Ari on his journey to self-discovery." — Booklist magazine
"Any reader who has felt like an outsider will be drawn to Ari’s story, which means his audience should be legion."--The Horn Book Magazine
"Baron’s free-verse poetry is immediate and lyrical, allowing us access to Ari’s thoughts and feelings in a way that prose would not. Baron’s first-person narration allows the reader to experience Ari’s pain and revelations, both of which are balanced with moments of grace and beauty....highly recommended for readers of all ages."--Bookpage
"Tackling such difficult subjects as anti-Semitism, self-harm, and family instability with heart-breaking honesty and grace, All of Me deftly explores the complex layers of what it means to come of age. Baron’s evocative verse beautifully expresses the depth of Ari’s feelings; he will be a lifeline to anyone unsure of how they fit in the world."--Joy McCullogh, National Book Award nominated author of Blood Water Paint
"I LOVE THIS BOOK. A moving and raw story that will stay with me."-- Remy Lai, author of Pie in the Sky
"In page after page of gorgeous verse, Chris Baron tells a story of hard-won healing, self acceptance, and hope."-- Jarrett Lerner, author of EngiNerds and the Geeger the Robot series
“Chris Baron’s gorgeous debut shines with strength, vulnerability, and humor. Ari’s journey to self-acceptance is hopeful and inspiring.”--Jen Petro-Roy, author of Good Enough:A Novel
"Ari's story of love and loss and learning to live life on his own terms broke my heart and put it back together again. Beautiful and necessary!" - Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane
"Baron’s writing is quick-witted and full of depth, allowing complicated characters to navigate growing up, identity and struggling with heavy things — not just body image and bullying but absent parents, self-harm, faith, first loves, interrupted friendships and more. The book is compelling, hopeful and a total page-turner."-- The Voice of San Diego magazine
"A powerful story, beautifully told. Highly recommended."--Middle Grade Minded Blog