Because I am Furniture (Hardcover)

By Thalia Chaltas

Viking Juvenile, 9780670062980, 368pp.

Publication Date: April 16, 2009

Summer 2009 Kids' List

“This beautifully crafted novel in verse tells the story of 9th-grader Anke, whose brother and sister bear the brunt of their father's abuse while she is completely ignored. Thalia Chaltas deals with this difficult topic both delicately and honestly.”
— Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY
View the List


Read Thalia Chaltas's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.

About the Author

As a teenager Thalia Chaltas wanted to do "everything," and she envied people who knew without question what their life goal was. Thalia did preliminary training to be a kinesiologist, a helicopter pilot, and a fire fighter, and has at times been a bus driver, a ropes course instructor, and a contralto in an a capella group. Along the way she has played lots of volleyball, written poetry, and collected children's books. And eventually, that anvil fell from the sky and she realized writing was what all this previous intensive training was for. She has kept every poem she has ever written - except one. Because she can't find it. Thalia lives in California with her daughter. "Because I Am Furniture " is her first novel.