Welcome all to the Blog Tour for Taking Up Space by Alyson Gerber! I am bouncing with delight that I can be part of the tour, the book sounds really really good!
For today’s post I got an excerpt, a giveaway (INT, so go go and join), and of course book/author information!
Sarah loves basketball more than anything. Crushing it on the court makes her feel like she matters. And it’s the only thing that helps her ignore how much it hurts when her mom forgets to feed her.
But lately Sarah can’t even play basketball right. She’s slower now and missing shots she should be able to make. Her body doesn’t feel like it’s her own anymore. She’s worried that changing herself back to how she used to be is the only way she can take control over what’s happening.
When Sarah’s crush asks her to be partners in a cooking competition, she feels pulled in a million directions. She’ll have to dig deep to stand up for what she needs at home, be honest with her best friends, and accept that she doesn’t need to change to feel good about herself.
About the author:
Alyson Gerber is the author of the critically-acclaimed, own-voices novels Braced and Focused published by Scholastic. Her third novel Taking Up Space will be in stores on May 18, 2021. She has an MFA from The New School in Writing for Children and lives in New York City with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AlysonGerber.
Braced, Focused, and Taking Up Space are all Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections. Braced received three starred reviews and has been nominated for state book awards in Oklahoma, Indiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, South Dakota, and Georgia. Focused was picked as a best book of year by The Today Show, Kirkus Reviews, and A Mighty Girl and has been nominated for state book awards in Rhode Island, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Alyson’s latest novel, Taking Up Space, based on her experience with disordered eating, will be published on May 18, 2021. Taking Up Space will help readers recognize how much they matter and see that if something negative is taking up space in their minds, even if there isn’t a name for it, they should ask for help.
After the game, Mom drives Ryan, Emilia, and me to our house for a sleepover. We usually go to Ryan’s on Fridays, which is the best thing ever, because the Martins have an entire refrigerator in the basement filled with snacks, and in the morning her dad makes fluffy-in-the-middle chocolate chip pancakes from scratch and scrambled eggs with multiple cheeses. Just one time, I wish Mom or Dad would make a big breakfast and that our house would smell like bacon and buttery French toast. But that’s never going to happen.
We couldn’t go to Ryan’s tonight because her parents took her brothers to visit a college in Connecticut. And Emilia isn’t allowed to have friends at her house. So, mine is the only option if we want to hang out, which we obviously do.
I’m still not sure why Emilia’s parents won’t let her have friends over. Her house is way bigger than Ryan’s and mine put together. They probably wouldn’t even notice us. I just feel sort of weird asking her to explain. Emilia doesn’t talk about her family. Not that we sit around talking about our families or anything, because we definitely don’t do that. Boring. But it seems different with her, like they’re off-limits. I’m not exactly sure, because we’re new best friends. Emilia moved to our town outside Boston from Minneapolis at the beginning of the year. On the first day of seventh grade, she sat down next to Ryan and me in homeroom and started talking about the WNBA playoffs, and we clicked, like we were all totally meant to be besties.
Most of the time, it’s like Emilia has always been in our group, but right now, it seems like I’m missing important pieces of information about her, which makes me feel like I don’t actually know her at all. I guess new best friends are different than best friends you’ve known your whole life.
Usually, I hate having sleepovers at my house, because the whole time I’m worried my friends will notice how weird Mom is about food or they’ll ask for snacks when there aren’t any. But I’m excited for tonight, because I already know we won’t have that problem. This morning, I gave Mom a shopping list. Sarah’s Sleepover Snacks: 1. Doritos
2. Cheez-Its 3. Oreos 4. Popcorn 5. Potato chips 6. Honey Nut Cheerios 7. Chex 8. Frosted Flakes.
Mom goes to the grocery store every day. And now she knows exactly what to buy. So, no weird food stuff today.
Once we’re at my house, we drop our bags in the den and then go into the kitchen to grab water. We all need to hydrate before we head outside to shoot hoops. My stomach cramps up when I see the groceries on the counter—one bag of Doritos, a box of Chex, almonds, apples, milk, and eggs.
Most of the stuff on my list is missing, and there’s no chance Mom already put some food away. The only thing that’s ever in our cabinets is coffee, spices, a box of pasta that expired in September, and candy.
I mean, I’m lucky. We have money for food. Not everyone does. I know there are so many kids whose parents would remember to follow their lists but can’t always afford to, and that’s unfair and hard in a much bigger way than what hap- pens to me. I think maybe I feel extra bad, because I know what it feels like to be hungry at home.
This Blog Tour was organized by: