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Kids of Appetite
Contributor(s): Arnold, David

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ISBN: 0451470788     ISBN-13: 9780451470782
Publisher: Viking Childrens Books
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Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 2016

Annotation: Interrogated in separate rooms at a New Jersey police department, a young man with a neurological disorder characterized by facial paralysis and a beautiful punk girl explain how they found themselves wrapped up in a murder. By the best-selling author of Mosquitoland. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Friendship; Fiction.
Voyages and travels; Fiction.
Death; FIction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2015042375
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (1.04 lbs) 335 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 184171
Reading Level: 5.2   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 12.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q69349
Reading Level: 5.6   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 19.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Spring)
Vic, a Moebius syndromesufferer grieving his deceased father, and orphan Mad, whose abusive uncle was murdered, are being interrogated by the police. Earlier, Mad's crew--Congolese-refugee brothers Baz and Zuz and sassy eleven-year-old Coco--helped Vic scatter Dad's ashes. Arnold's prose is sharp and observant, his pacing restrained, revealing characters' backstories gradually while setting up a murder investigation that keeps readers guessing. Copyright 2016 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2016 #5)
In a Hackensack police interrogation room, sixteen-year-old Bruno Victor Benucci III is being interviewed as a witness to a murder. We learn, via Vic's first-person narration including flashbacks, about his rare neurological disorder, Moebius syndrome, which causes facial paralysis; about his grief over his deceased father; and about his "heart-thinker" personality, which makes his inability to conventionally express emotions feel more devastating. In a separate interrogation room is second narrator Madeline (Mad) Falco, a headstrong, almost-eighteen-year-old orphan whose abusive uncle was the murder victim. Mad runs with a crew that includes Congolese-refugee brothers Baz, a fatherly twenty-seven-year-old who turned himself in for the murder, and twenty-year-old Zuz, who is selectively mute; and eleven-year-old Coco, a connoisseur of sass, rap, and "faux cussing" ("What the motherfrakking frak…?"). Early in Vic's tale, the quartet welcomes him in with open arms after he runs away from his mother and her despised new fiancé with his father's urn, looking to scatter Dad's ashes per his instructions -- a mission that lends structure to much of his story. Arnold's (Mosquitoland, rev. 3/15) prose is sharp and observant, his pacing restrained, revealing each character's backstory gradually while also setting up a murder investigation that keeps readers guessing until the second it doesn't. Vic constantly refers to life revelations from his father, including the idea of "simultaneous extreme opposites" -- a concept that, given all the laugh-cries to be had in his emotionally well-wrought novel, Arnold motherfrakking nails. katrina hedeen

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 June #2)

Arnold (Mosquitoland) again showcases a memorable cast of outsiders carving out space for themselves. Bruno Victor "Vic" Benucci III, a 16-year-old Jersey kid born with a rare condition that leaves him unable to use most of his facial muscles, is reeling from his father's death two years earlier. After his mother's new boyfriend proposes to her, Vic bolts from the house with his father's ashes. Vic's destiny is changed when he meets 17-year-old Madeline "Mad" Falco, who is part of a gang of semihomeless kids who vow to help Vic decipher his father's final note, which dictates various places to spread his ashes. Told through Vic and Mad's alternating narratives, interspersed with police interviews centered around the murder of Mad's abusive uncle, the story focuses on the unbreakable bonds of these forgotten, mistreated kids—who include two brothers born in the Congo and a brilliant, sharp-tongued 11-year-old—as well as Vic's enduring loyalty to his father's memory. Arnold writes with a Hinton-esque depth and rawness, building Mad and Vic's stories with practiced patience. Ages 14–up. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 July)

Gr 8 Up—Victor has an urn with his father's ashes and a set of instructions for scattering them. Madeline has a scar and a troubled past. When the two collide, or "bump," as Victor puts it, Victor joins the Kids of Appetite, a ragtag group that Madeline belongs to. As the gang helps Victor complete his dad's last mission, he begins to fall for Madeline. Meanwhile, one of the KoA comes under suspicion for murder, and Madeline and Victor are swept up in the investigation. Set against the vivid backdrop of Hackensack, NJ, this literary novel will satisfy teens looking for a quirky read. However, sometimes the quirk goes into overdrive and the details overwhelm the plot, which can feel thin in comparison. The KoA are a motley crew, and each member is fairly well drawn, with the exception of one African character, who communicates solely through finger snaps, which is a troubling detail. The writing is lush and lovely, but those seeking a fast-paced or compelling plot should look elsewhere. VERDICT An additional purchase for YA library collections.—Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ

[Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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