Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons for Challenge: Sexual content, anti-family, offensive language, unsuited to age group
Virginia is the oddball in her chic and accomplished family: she’s overweight, unambitious and gawky. Her mother, an adolescent psychologist, drops what she considers helpful suggestions and schedules appointments with nutritionists but only makes Virginia feel more out of place. Her father comments on thinner women while sabotaging her diet. Her brother, Byron, earns accolades for attending the suitably prestigious Columbus University and her sister Anais measures up in every way but is rebellious enough to join the Peace Corps. To top everything off, Virginia’s best friend has moved to California. Then, one day, Virginia’s parents get a call from Columbia. Byron, accused of date rape, is suspended from Columbia. Why is Virginia the only one who thinks about the girl involved?
Challenged for its sexual content, being anti-family, offensive language and unsuited for age-group, this book has also garnered a Printz honor, one of the most prestigious awards for a teen book. Virginia’s pain feels real as does her growing self-confidence as she comes to realize there’s more to her than her body size and her families’ expectations.
Tina Zubak, CLP – Beechview
Go back to Teen Banned Books webpage