Book Review-"The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things,

In observance of Banned Book Week, I read and am reviewing, The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things. By Carolyn Mackler. From the book jacket, (the Book on CD edtion) “Fifteen year old Virginia Shreves is overweight and she doesn’t have many friends, but wants to be like her family-picture perfect. Although she views some of this perfection with cynicism, she’ll give anything to be successful like her mother, or smart and beautiful like her sister. But more than anything popular like her brother. What she knows about her family, however, slowly begins to change after one tragic phone call.
....’The heroines transformation into someone who finds her own style and speaks her own mind is believable and worthy of applause.’ ” Publishers’s Weekly

This book was on the banned books list because of sexual language, and situations. It is what is called realistic fiction. I think I can see why some parents would be offended by it. It does start with a passage moust parents wouldn't want young children to read.  I think the language is not as bad as you might hear in middle school halls, and the situations are things that kids are probably discussing among themselves.  I think that this book can be an opportunity for parents and children to discuss similar situations their children may face.

What I like about this book: It is realistic, It made me laugh, a kid named Froggy Welsh the IV, a geometry teacher that drove the kids crazy singing songs with there names in them. “Carry me back to old Virginy” Country Roads (West Virginia Take me Home), Froggy Went a Courtin.  Sight seeing and Thanksgiving dinner (Thai food) in Seattle with her best friend’s family who moved to Walla Walla Washington to research the Walla Walla Onion for a book.
It made me cry, Virginia over hears some “popular girls” talking about her. One says she would rather die than look like that, the death of a teacher.
It made me angry, Virginia’s family and the way they react to her weight and overeating, her brother’s “ordeal” as her mother calls it.
Virgina becomes aware of her own power and personality.

I guess there is not much that I didn’t like about the book. I wish that all women – no all people, could take a lesson from Virginia and become there own person, with their own style, find there own strengths.  The book was well written, and at the end of the book, I was happy that things were turning out OK for Virginia and her family, I liked and cared about some of the people, when I was finished with the book, this was not a family with whome I wanted to spend more time. 

Exercise your freedom to read. JB. 


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