The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
(Candlewick Press, 2005, 244 pages)
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things first came across my radar because it always seems to be on the list of Banned/Challenged Books each year. I finally got around to it while on maternity leave.
Virginia is a sophomore who has always struggled with being the odd man out in her family. Both her older siblings had it together in high school, were thin, and attractive. Virginia, on the other hand, is decidedly overweight and doesn’t exactly run with the popular crowd. She has recently started hooking up with Froggy, a guy in her class, but it seems like it’s something he wants to keep low key and she just assumes that’s because of her size.
In addition to her body image struggle another central aspect of the book revolves around her relationships with her family members. When her brother is sent home from college Virginia finds herself rethinking who she is and how she wants to portray herself to the world. Maybe she can free herself from the negative thinking that has kept her down and embrace the Virginia she has never had the courage to show the world.
This young adult book was a quick read with a positive message for teens to be true to themselves.