Published on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 10:32am
The first book I picked up as a new Library Associate, a few short weeks ago, was Stuffed by Eric Walters. A petite piece of literature with only 14 short chapters, I would have never guessed that this Young Adult material was heavy enough to hold down my attention. Ian Cheevers, the story's main character and resident teenage "smart-ass," kept me alert, as-well.
It all starts when Ian, his two best friends, Julia and Oswald, and his classmates watch an in-class documentary called, Stuffed (hence the book's title). The documentary explores the mass consumption of Frankie's, a local fast-food restaurant, and its lack of healthy food offerings. A great debate ensues on whether or not customers should remain eating Frankie's "poisonous" servings ... or simply go on to admire them. Even after class, Ian and his friends maintain this argument until Ian comes up with a genius idea.
"I'm suggesting we pick a day, one day, and we don't eat there."
"That's your idea?" Julia asked in disbelief. "That for one day we don't eat at Frankie's?"
"That's part of my idea."
The offspring of two trial lawyers, Ian takes this small idea of boycotting Frankie's and creates a platform for him, and his peers, to stand up for what they believe in. He also takes advantage of using the Internet as a major form of communication, which is brilliant for 2006 (when the book was published).
The New York teenager's deeds don't go unnoticed either; people from as far as Britain support him. Even Frankie's, the soon-to-be boycotted establishment, takes notice. Ian's call for action and usage of new technology become a symbol of dedication and innovation, and it's exciting to see where this plot goes.
With fun, relatable characters and simplistic yet interesting content, Stuffed gives Young Adults a read that they can enjoy. As individuality and personal choice go on to remain important beliefs for youth today, Ian and his boycott lead as terrific examples of what can be done if you hold strong to your standards.
I think everyone should get Stuffed! A fantastic read for those who love to get up and stand up...stand up for your rights!