________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 23. . . February 24, 2017


Food Freak. (Orca Currents).

Alex Van Tol.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2017.
119 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1339-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1340-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1341-0 (epub).

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



He turns slowly, revolving back and forth in a semicircular arc, as usual. He wants to make sure everyone has a chance to read the message on the sandwich board. He waves the long sign back and forth high above him as people hurry toward the storeís automatic doors. They all avoid his eyes.

Every time I see him I expect to catch him looking up at the sky and muttering or shaking his fist. So far it hasnít happened. He just stands and turns, watching people as they leave the store with their bags full of death.

Yeah, thatís our resident freakomatic.

And, oh so lucky for me, heís also my dad.


In Food Freak, Alex Van Tol writes about eighth grader Dani Muller. Her dad is German, a professor and active protester, and he believes that his wife, Daniís mother, developed cancer as a direct result of the chemicals found in the food she ate. He wears sandwich boards trying to educate others of these hidden dangers. Daniís mother was from Italy and was the glue that held them all together. Her death caused the family to fall apart in spite of Daniís best efforts to keep them intact.

     Food Freak is more than a story about a family coping after losing a loved one. It is about acceptance, acceptance of our differences. It is also about believing in others. Dani and her father both learn to accept each other and others. Finally, it is about trust, trusting yourself and letting others in.

     A good read about life lessons.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of Macdonald Drive Junior High in St. Johnís, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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