When it comes to reading young adult literature and picking a favorite genre, I would hesitate and flounder in that I am still struggling to find the genre that “gets me” or that I get. Essentially, my favorites are an eclectic conglomeration of stories and authors who touch me at one point or another, depending on where I am in life. After reading Carolyn Mackler’s, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things I realized that I now have a favorite in the “modern teen experience” genre, as it were. Mackler’s The Earth is a story about a teenage girl who does not fit in with her “perfect” family. And yet, as the plot progresses she begins to realize that her perfect family is far from perfect. In fact, most of their problems remain unsaid so the pretense of perfectness can remain and continue to drive the family forward. With an adolescent psychologist mom, a dad who thinks that thin women are beautiful, and a sister and brother who are placed on pedestals by the school, Virginia is an over-weight outsider whose only true friend has just moved to Seattle, Washington. The book progresses as family problems are discovered, culminating with “the ordeal”. As Virginia works through her various family problems, as well as her own weight and identity issues, she begins to find her place in life by acting on her own impulses and learning and growing based on what she likes instead of being told what she needs to like or dislike. Young girls should have no problem identifying with the candid narrator and her less than perfect life, making it a great read and a great addition to any library.

Advertisements