Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Book Review: The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Title:  The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Published by: Candlewick Press
Pages: 256
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★

Summary From Goodreads: 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.

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things was on the ALA's 2009 list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books.  According to Marshall University, it was banned for offensive language, sexual content, unsuitable for age group and being anti-family.

That being said, I thought this would be the perfect book to read in celebration of Banned Books Week.  I must admit I went into this novel thinking it would be a cute, light read about a girl dealing with body issues.  I was blown away; this novel was so much more complex.

I loved Virgina.  I thought she was very real and battles with weigh issues typical to teenagers.  Most teenagers care a lot about their body images.  They either think they are too fat, or too skinny, too short, or too tall, etc.  I think Virgina was an extremely strong individual and someone I'd love to have as a friend.  She has such a quirky and unique personality that you can't help but love her and cheer her on as she finally rebels against the ideal image of who she is suppose to be.   

To truly discuss about how I felt about this novel I'd have to give away a huge spoiler and for those of you who know me, that is not my style so let me just say that I was shocked.  I'm so proud of how Virgina reacted to this horrific incident and how it really made her evaluate her family and her life. I was appalled by how her family acted throughout the entire novel.  Her dad and her sister grew on me by the end but I couldn't stand her mother or her brother.   

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things was a wonderfully written novel dealing with complex issues and the challenges of facing them.


  1. Wow! I'll be honest and say I would be expecting light and humorous too, and not so much of the emotional impact stuff. Oddly, that makes me more excited to read it. Thanks for the welcomed surprise, Lisa.

  2. I read this book a long time ago. I loved it! I want to read it again thanks to your review. I forgot all about this book. =D

  3. So what's all the fuss about with this book? I read 20 Boy Summer when there was a lot of bother about that one, and I found it was really very tame.

  4. Now I really have to read this! You're doing such bad things for my TBR mountain, Lisa!!


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