Thursday, 6 August 2015

Spotlight Tour: review, extract & competition Dear Opl by Shelley Sackier (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E) US competition

 4th August, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 240 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley

Content: health issues, humour, friendship, family, tissues needed

Summary from NetGalley
There are three things Opl never expected to do during the eighth grade:

1) Start a vendetta against celebrity chef Alfie Adam, the "Nude Food Dude."

2) Take yoga classes with her grandpa

3) Become a famous blogger

But after a year of shrinking down her personality to compensate for the fact that her body is getting bigger, Opl thinks it's about time to start speaking up again. What she doesn't expect is that everyone actually starts to listen...

Nayu's thoughts
Having read books where the protagonist was anorexic, it made a change that Opl was a binge-eater. The struggles she faces are at times heartbreaking, including her mother's notes. She is forced into finding a new way to express herself which helps her regain a smidge of control over her life. Blogging is freeing. 

Opl sometimes oversteps the mark – I totally agreed with her best friend on one issue, but making mistakes is part of growing up. It was interesting seeing how Opl's family and friends are affected by her food issues, and how they reacted to her positive changes as well as her slip-ups which are expected and part of the ongoing change she goes through. There is a lot of humour to help counter the seriousness of the book which is a reality for many people. With the right support Opl is able to turn her life around and become healthier.

Buy Links:
Books A Million-

About the Author:
 Shelley Sackier is an author and blogger who writes about the everyday ordinary grand slams and gruesome snafus in completing the Herculean task of raising two healthy human beings. Ultimately she hopes to impart the necessary knowledge of how to balance their checkbooks and pay their taxes. Here greatest hope is to discover that parallel universes are a reality, and that somewhere she is living a life where her children have agreed to occasionally make eye contact with her. They live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

You can read more of her work, illustrated by Robin Gott, at

Social Networking Links:

Excerpt from Dear Opl:

First blog entry:

My name is Opl, I’m thirteen years old, and this is my blog. My mom wants it to be a food journal. A log of chow. But I can’t see that being a good idea at all. Then it would just be a catalogue of crimes. My grandfather says I should use it to write about things that make me angry. He says it’ll be more interesting than listing everything I eat. It’s true. Anything would be more interesting than that. And because I know my mom will never read this, I might as well unbolt the floodgates.

Number one. No more Tylenol syrup. It’s now pills. That sucks.

Number two. Kids who don’t wash their hands after they go to the bathroom. I see it all the time and it’s disgusting. Everything you touch in school has already been touched by somebody else who didn’t wash their hands. It is the world’s most super-gross thing. Except for seeing grown-ups kiss. That’s grosser.

Number three. Getting in trouble for falling asleep in my boring history class. Pinching doesn’t work. Wiggling gets me snapped at. And you can’t listen to our teacher’s voice. It’s a soft, buzzy drone. Within thirty seconds, it feels like my brain is being sucked out of my skull. My eyes spin around to the back of my head just before my chin slides off my hand. Last week I had to walk around looking only to the left for two days because I wrenched a neck muscle.

Finally, I’d like to complain about our school’s new lunch menu rule as of today. Last year my lunch was perfect. Monday through Friday at exactly 11:50, my grade went to the cafeteria. My plate held a double cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, and extra mayo—­pickle on the side. I also had cheese fries with extra cheese—except on Fridays, it was chili fries. And finally, I adored my jug of chocolate milk. I loved that lunch. I needed that lunch. And now someone has taken away the chocolate milk and replaced it with plain.


I asked one of the lunch ladies if there was more in the back, but she just shook her white-­netted hair at me.

“Well, where’s the strawberry milk?”

She pressed her lips together.

“Did the milkman run out? Why are we short?” I wanted to bang my tray on the counter. This needed fixing. And fast.

Another woman leaned over the cash register and barked, “New state policy. No. Flavored. Milks.”

“What?” I actually thought my shoulders were going to fall down to where my elbows hung. I was that disappointed. I’d been hearing the annoying buzz about some schools around us making changes like this. But not my school. My school was fine the way it was.

Tomorrow I’ll bring in a container of Hershey’s syrup and store it in my locker until lunchtime. 

“Never mind,” I told the lunch ladies. “Today I’ll have a blue Gatorade.”

I can think of a bunch of other stuff I’m all huffy about these days, but it’s getting late. I’m not sure how I feel about this bloggy thing, mostly because Mom has high hopes pinned on its big ole donkey butt. It’s no different than the rest of my silly diaries. Except now my bellyaching is electronic.

Later gator,



At the time of posting there were technical glitches with the competition widget, so I'll put it up as soon as I can! Update 10th August: still having issues with it, sorry.
 Those of you in the US have a chance to win a paperback copy of Dear Opl - simply fill in the form below!

Suggested read
Another diary themed read is Dear Dylan... by Siobhan Curham (Young Adult, 9/10E)

No comments: