BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE (Viking, 2009) by Thalia Chaltas is the story of Anke, the youngest of three children. Anke watches mutely as her father savages her older brother and sister. She cannot help but think that somehow he does not "like" her as much as she generally is not the target of his rage and abuse. However, those days of anonymity might be coming to an end. Anke has found some small measure of success and a growing confidence as a member of the volleyball team at school. This newfound sense of who she is awakens Anke to the need to end the horrors at home.
This novel in verse not only demonstrates the power of this format to reveal even the most hideous of human nature, it also demonstrates how rich language (Anke comments on the "motherness" of her mother) can show, in an instant, so much more to the reader (children "scuttle" out of the way) than mere words can tell. Anke is a complex character who is embroiled in quite a few relationships and floundering as she tries to navigate friendship, crushes, lusts, and so much more.