Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Earth, my Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

The Earth, my Butt, and Other Big Round Things
by Carolyn Mackler
June 14, 2005
Borrowed from Library
Goodreads Page
Amazon Page
Grade: A

Synopsis (from Publisher): Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex, especially when she compares herself to her slim, brilliant, picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking phone call — and a horrifying allegation — about her rugby-star brother changes everything. With irreverent humor and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself.

I loved this book SO MUCH.  I’m pretty sure I can’t even write a coherent review here because all I am about this is starry eyes and flailing hands.  So I heard about The Earth, My Butt... after listening to the author on NPR (yeah, you knew I was a dork) about the new anthology Dear Bully.  I ran across a copy of The Earth, My Butt while putting together a display for Banned Books Week at the library.  Which obviously meant I had to substitute another book (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret if you’re curious) and check out Mackler’s book myself.

Coherence is at a minimum so what I’m going to do here is just list the parts that made me so happy.
  • Virginia’s funny, sarcastic, completely blunt voice
  • Every character being realistically flawed
  • Froggy
  • Adult mentors.  Adult mentors!
  • Eyebrow piercings
  • Characters named after authors 
  • Family that means well even as they hurt you
  • Kickboxing
  • Virginia not suddenly becoming thin
  • Learning that even your heroes are real and very, very fallible
  • Virginia learning how to find her own voice and use it at home and school
  • Earthquacks
  • Realistic teenage worries about boys
  • Anais’ fantastic advice on making out and sex.
This was very definitely a ‘message’ book - learn who you are and be true to yourself instead of becoming who your family or friends want you to be.  But it’s done in a funny and engaging voice from a character who feels very multi-dimensional and real, and I can’t help but think that this is a message that every teenager - every person - needs to hear as often as possible.


  1. That title says it all. I think I would have picked it up on that alone!

    Beth ^_^

  2. @Beth - Do it! It's adorable and the title makes it even better. :D

  3. I didn't really know what this book was about, but I've seen the title a few times since the start of Banned Books Week. Thanks for posting this, because I really want to pick it up now!

  4. What a catchy title! between this review and the title I'm really interested!

  5. @Colleen and @Trish - I didn't mean to time this review during Banned Books Week, but I feel pretty slick that it happened. ;) I hope you both like it! It's a really cute book.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read and adore each one.