Published by Bonnier Publishing Fiction Ltd. on February 9th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, General, Family, Parents, Humorous Stories, School & Education
It's hard to measure up in a family with high expectations. But it's even harder when those people sometimes use you as an arm rest. And call you 'Peanut'.
Anzo is 11 years old and very, very short. Mum, Dad and his two uncles are extremely tall but they're also high achievers, obsessed with fulfilling their lifelong ambition of opening a restaurant together. Everyone has a role - chef, DIY, marketing, accounts - but where does Anzo fit in? If only he could grow a few inches in height, then no one would be able to overlook him. Josh would stop teasing Anzo in school, he wouldn't have to play all seven dwarfs in the school play, and at home he could tell his parents about his drawing and the comic convention he's been invited to.
Then, overnight, Anzo starts to grow. Is life as a giant going to solve all his problems, or should he stop worrying and learn to just be himself?
Giant is one of those books you know you’re just going to love – the kind you want to give a squishy hug to. Everyone can relate to Anzo – feeling like your family ignore you the whole time, putting up with bullies who have nothing better to do than pick on someone to make themselves feel better, but most of all, coming to terms with who you are, and how no matter how tall or small you are, that isn’t going to change a thing. It’s about learning to own who you are and what you love and, in Anzo’s case, it’s comic book drawing.
Giant is one of those books that every kid should read – because Anzo growing a few inches changes nothing about him. Sure, he’s taller, but his family are still too loud for him, and still don’t hear him and the bullies just come up with new names, so any kid who reads this is going to read it and see that just being yourself is OK, and it takes more than just growing a few inches to change things.
I loved the little comic book drawings we sometimes had throughout the book – they really added a little bit extra, and I liked that Anzo was talented at comic book drawings and I loved that his friend Elise was willing to help him no matter what, with anything whether it was growing taller, or not. That was the kind of support I felt Anzo needed from the very start, from all those around him, and Elise was the only one to support him whether he was tall or short.
I thought this book was adorable. I wanted to keep reading about Anzo and his life, because his voice was just so raw and honest and hopeful. Mind you, I’m hardly one to judge because if someone said to me, “Leah, would you like to be taller?” I’d say heck yes. Perhaps I should try some of that positive thinking Elise kept going on about… In the meantime, while I’m chanting, go and get your hands on this adorable middle grade novel!