Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

iconiconI found out about this book way back during Banned Books Week, at the end of September.  The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things was one of the top challenged books of 2009.  The reasons it was challenged included language, sexual content, and not being age appropriate.

My thoughts: The language wasn't that bad, and do we think girls are all so sheltered they don't know what sex is?  And good heavens, shouldn't they know what date rape is, and that it's bad?

I thought this was a great book, and if I had a daughter I would be thrilled if she were reading it.  It's about a girl who is overweight and (she thinks) flawed, in a family of skinny, perfect people.  The book is the story of how she discovers herself and her own power, and starts doing things to make herself happy.

I can see the parts that some parents might complain about.  The first few chapters are about her making out with a boy.  I don't get why it's such a big deal, though.  If you think teenage girls shouldn't be reading about French kissing and a little bit of mild petting, you have your head in the sand.

Also, one of the biggest turns of events in the story is the discovery that her older brother isn't so perfect, after all: He's been expelled from college for the rest of the semester for date raping another student.  So a lot of the story hinges on Virginia realizing that everyone in her family is flawed, after all, and learning not to let them make her feel so bad about her flaws.

Really, it's beyond me why anyone would complain about this book.  Seems to me the message is actually pretty empowering for teen girls.  Yet another reason why censorship is stupid!

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