Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Kids of Appetite

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Layered misfits story explores grief, friendship, love.

Kids of Appetite Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (1 ):

This substantive and emotional coming-of-age story is about love, friendship, and the beauty of being different. Arnold's second novel is as layered as an onion. As in one of Melina Marchetta's or Andrew Smith's stories, there's a whole lot about family relationships, the life-changing power of a beloved song, artist, book (in this case, "The Flower Duet," Matisse, and The Outsiders play major roles), and the never-ending process that is grief. Vic's Moebius may cause the paralysis of his face, but those lucky enough to see the "simmering underneath" know he's a brilliant, emotive guy who misses everything about his father -- even the things that used to annoy him. And Vic's grief is just one of many kinds explored. All of the five friends have gone through unspeakable losses.

There's a lot to unpack in the story, and young readers who prefer lighthearted romances will need to dig deeper to finish it. There are two points of view (Vic's and Mad's) but a large cast of characters, and the other Kids of Appetite have equally as compelling (and heartbreaking) stories -- as do the not-so-random others who help the KoA crew with their various missions. Twenty-seven-year-old Baz, the paternal leader of the group, and his 20-year-old silent brother, Nzuzi, who communicates by snapping his fingers, experienced enough violence and tragedy by age 3 (Baz) and 10 (Nzuzi) to last many lifetimes. Eleven-year-old Coco, their foster sister and unofficial ward, curses like a sailor and pulls no punches. She's from Queens, after all. And Mad and Vic's love story is one of extreme opposites who realize they're actually alike where it counts. Lovely and powerful, this book is best for readers who like nuanced relationship stories and who are up to the task of, like Vic, figuring out how to be a "super racehorse" in a world filled with "aspiring rental car entrepreneurs."

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate