The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler- Module #7
Mackler, Carolyn. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. Cambridge: Candlewick Press. 2003.
Summary: Virginia is a 15 year old who feels like an outcast in her near perfect family. She is overweight, doesn't speak French, and not popular. Virginia lives by her self made "Fat girl code of conduct." After her brother is expelled from college for date rape, she learns that her family is not as perfect as she thought. After a mini breakdown and bout with self destructive behavoir, Virginia begins to discover who she is and what makes her happy. Virginia realizes that being herself isn't that bad.
Tattered Cover says:Following Virginia's thought process is an emotional ride. The reader will be fighting for her even when she seems to be fighting against herself. This book is very realistic and hits on some very tough issues such as date rape, self mutilation, anorexia/bulemia, and self esteem. It is very relavant to today's youth.
How to use this in a library:This book would be perfect for a girl's book club. Given all the issues in the book, a librarian could tie in having the girls research some of the topics and even have some guest speakers to speak about things such as cutting or eating disorders.
Reviews: " Fifteen-year-old Viriginia Shreves is the blond, round, average daughter in a family of dark-haired, thin superstars. Her best friend has moved away, and she's on the fringes at her private Manhattan school. She wants a boyfriend, but she settles for Froggy Welsh, who comes over on Mondays to grope her. The story follows Virginia as she tries to lose weight, struggles with her "imperfections," and deals with the knowledge that her idealized older brother has committed date rape. There's a lot going on here, and some important elements, such as Virginia's flirtation with self-mutilation, are passed over too quickly. But Mackler writes with such insight and humor (sometimes using strong language to make her point) that many readers will immediately identify with Virginia's longings as well as her fear and loathing. Her gradually evolving ability to stand up to her family is hard won and not always believable, but it provides a hopeful ending for those trying stand on their own two feet." Ilene Cooper, American Library Association, Booklist