Friday, September 10, 2010

The Earth, My Butt and other Big Round Things By Carolyn Mackler

This one is about a fat girl and how she deals with her life, her size and her family. Virginia is 15, her best friend has moved to Walla Walla and she come from a family of over achieving skinny people. Once you meet her family you can see why she has issues. Her mother named all her children after authors, Anais, Byron and Virginia. This book is about Virginia and from her point of view. I like the style of this one and it is a super fast read. Virginia's mom is a adolescent  psychologist who does not seem to be able to relate to her own children and honestly does not seem that interested. Her mom wanted them to look like the perfect family though they were far from that.  Her dad was kind of oblivious to the world around him. Her sister was the smart one and got the heck out of there to live her own life.

Virginia is as I said is a chubby girl but past that she a girl left on her own. She feels like she does not fit in with her family. She can not speak french and she overweight. She decides to lose weight the wrong way. She starts starving herself. And her parents praise her for it. She was secretly seeing a boy named Froggy and she said according to the fat girl code she had to keep it behind closed doors. Over the course of the book she starts hurting herself to elevate the pain a little. She hero worships her brother until he does something horrible and she starts to realize he is not the person she thought he was and that he has been treating her like crap.  Finally she starts to rebel she buys a ticket to go see her best friend even though her parents told her know. They never spend holidays together really but because of  Byron's trouble her parents think they should play close knit family. She ends up going getting a eyebrow ring and dying her hair purple. She realizes that she can forgive her brother and see him as a regular guy not the one she had put on a pedestal.

Virginia realizes that is it ok to be herself and does not have be a carbon copy of her mom. And that she can express her self and help others at her school do the same with a webzine written by students.

This book is number 34 on the top 100 list of banned/Challenged books. According to Marshall University  banned book list in 2007 it was banned  for sexual content, being anti-family, offensive language and being unsuited to age group and in 2006 it was banned by the Carrol County Superintendent in Westminister (MD), but after protests from students, librarians, national organizations and the publisher, the book was returned to high school libraries, but not middle schools. The superintendent objected to the book's use of profanity and its sexual references.

I am amazed that is what the people that had a problem with this book focused on. It was not Anti-Family in my opinion it showed a very dysfunctional family that has many issues but loved each other and in the end really started to come together.

I really liked this book. I loved Carolyn Mackler's style of writing and I could totally relate to Virginia in some ways. It is nice to see a chubby girl come out on the other side liking herself. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. I will be reading other things by this author.

I sort of got side tracked from the list. Spirit Bound By Richelle Mead fell into my hands and I had been wanting to read it for awhile so I went off the list and read it. I have read 2 and a half book since Tuesday so I did not lose any time. And since it is also Challenged I thought it would be ok. After I finished Spirit Bound this morning I started The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie and I am really enjoying it. It is a fast read as well. I think I can get it done this weekend.

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