Shari Larsen's Reviews > The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
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Jul 13, 2011

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Read from July 13 to 15, 2011 — I own a copy

Virginia Shreves is 15, blond, and overweight, and doesn't feel like she fits in with her thin, dark haired family. Her sister left for the Peace Corps to escape the family, her older brother whom she idolizes has been treating her badly, and her workaholic parents are rarely home.

She has "boyfriend", named Froggy, that she fools around with in her bedroom, but according to her own self-imposed "Fat Girls Rules of Conduct" they do not date out in public. She avoids the other kids at school, and tries to be as "invisible" as she can be, thinking that that way, no one can really notice her or her weight, if no one notices her, no one will criticize her.

But when her older brother makes a mistake that has severe consequences, she is forced to take charge of her mental, physical and emotional health. The best part of the story is that Virginia decides to take charge of her life, her change in her attitude has nothing to do with her weight. (I won't spoil the story by telling you whether she loses the weight or not.)

Virginia tells her story with a sense of humor, so although you feel bad for her at times, she does not make you feel pity; she comes across as a real teenager. The lesson in this book is that people are not often what we judge them to be, not good, not bad, but merely human, and we are more alike than we are different.

This is a "young adult" novel, but what attracted it to me at first was the quirky title, and it was also only $1.99 for the Kindle edition. I think this is a story that both teens and adults will enjoy, and would be good for a discussion group.

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