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

"a powerful and positive story of a girl who finds her voice"

The lighthearted title, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, masks a much deeper story. I strongly advocate this book for any teenager with low self esteem or just anyone looking for a good book to read. This book shows the stereotypical family and the one child who thinks there is no way she belongs. Virginia Shreves is a dirty-blonde haired, fair skinned, overweight, high school student who in no way resembles her skinny, smart, gorgeously perfect family. Virginia feels she is forced to try and fit into that same stereotype as her family. She makes herself live her life by the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct" and lists that she makes regularly. She event resorts to physical pain and hurting herself to try and stop the embarrassment she feels.

Virginia lives in the shadow of her perfect older sister who is overseas helping the less fortunate and her older brother who is a straight A, debate and lacrosse team member at Colombia. She is constantly pressured by her mother to lose weight and wear baggy clothing to cover up her body. She is an outcast at school and shunned by the popular girls. Virginia's life continues like this daily until an accident happens and her perfect family is now far from perfect. Virginia slowly, but surely begins to take a stand and speak up for herself.

She begins to grow as person. She even starts an online magazine throughout her school. Her online magazine creates a place for students to voice their opinions and speak their minds. She opens up to other people and accepts her body and loves it for what it is, not for what her mother wants it to be. She finds a creative way to take out her anger instead of hurting herself or stuffing herself with junk food and candy.

This is a powerful and positive story of a young teenager who finds herself and her voice. She transforms from a quiet and hurt girl to a strong, young woman who is in control of her life and takes the opportunities she is given in order to live her life to the fullest.

    - Leslie P.