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Kids of Appetite (Paperback)

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(Young Adult)

Staff Reviews

Sixteen-year-old Vic Benucci suffers from a condition called Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis, which means he cannot blink, smile or frown. Bullied by his classmates and often assumed to be stupid by adults, he is actually witty and intelligent, a lover of art and opera, which becomes clear when he opens his mouth and speaks. What Vic's face cannot show, but he needs to say is that he still grieves for his father, dead more than two years ago from cancer, while his mother seems to have moved on with a boyfriend who loves canned green beans. He runs away on a quest to scatter his father's ashes, and bumps into a ragtag group of homeless kids and young adults who have named themselves Kids of Appetite: Baz and Nzuzi, brothers who survived a civil war in the Congo; Madeline (Mad), whose parents were killed in a car wreck; and Coco, 11 years old, a cussing Little Orphan Annie down to the red hair. They take Vic in, feed and shelter him, treat him with kindness, just because he asks for help. When the book begins, it is eight days since Vic left home, and he and Mad are being interviewed by the police as witnesses to a murder for which Baz is the prime suspect. As they recount the events of the previous week, it becomes clear that all the Kids of Appetite have sorrows to tell at least as great as Vic's.  This is an amazing second novel by David Arnold-- a book about accepting loss, finding family, finding love, and discovering that we are all Chapters in each other's stories.

— From Jill's Picks


"Funny, sweet, utterly heart-wrenching." --Entertainment Weekly

The New York Times bestseller from the critically acclaimed author of Mosquitoland

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic's father.
It ends with the murder of Mad's uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

About the Author

David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland, and his books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Previous jobs include freelance musician/producer, stay-at-home dad, and preschool teacher. David is a fierce believer in the power of kindness and community. And pesto. He believes fiercely in pesto. You can learn more at and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780147513663
ISBN-10: 0147513669
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 368
Language: English