The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

by Carolyn Mackler

Brief Summary: Virginia isn’t skinny, like the rest of her family. She also isn’t under any delusions about being fat. In fact, she lives by the Fat Girl Code of Conduct. Normally, she has her best friend to help her cope, but Shannon has moved to the other side of the country. Virginia is left to maneuver a steady stream of crash diets and binge eating, a secret relationship with a boy, school politics and a jaw-dropping family scandal on her own – to somewhat surprising results.

Kell’s Chatty Review: After just finishing Fat Kid Rules the World, I wondered how similar the stories would be – and they are utterly and completely different. TEMBaOBRT surprised me a lot, if I’m being honest. While it touched on how a teenager copes with being overweight in high school (which is what I was expecting), it actually was about the emotional highs and lows Virginia experienced and how food related to those highs and lows. (At least, that’s what I was getting.)

I was uber impressed: with how the friendship of Virginia and Shannon was displayed over a distance. I thought Virginia’s jealousy over Shannon’s new friends and their email/phone conversations were incredibly well done. While Virginia was more concerned with her relationship with Froggy (seriously, it’s his name), I really felt Shannon and Virginia’s relationship was the vital one in this book.

I did not see: the family scandal coming. At all. I mean, wow. That is some heavy stuff. And the way Virginia responds to the news made me understand why this book was a Printz honoree, because it was so brutally honest.

I loved Virginia’s: List-making habit. As a list-maker myself, I loved reading hers.

As a note: The book I read was a hardcover with the SHINIEST book jacket ever. It’s meant to look like a mirror, which basically means I loved it. One of my fave book covers in this whole Printz run thus far!

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: I was hungry – true story. (Granted, I also finished this on my lunch break. So that may be telling.)

Where this book came from: The library!


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