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

Candlewick Press
Originally Published July 14th, 2003
244 Pages

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. – Goodreads

Why was it banned?

Banned for sexual content, being anti-family, offensive language and being unsuited to age group. (Source)

I read this book when I was 15. Seriously. This was the rare occasion that I would read a YA because when I was a teen, it was nothing but Sandra Brown and Julie Garwood and Judith Mcnaught.

This book stuck so much to me that years later I remember everything. I was not as big as Virginia but in my eyes and compared to my friends, I was large. So I was able to relate to her in that sense. I loved her and her courage and her thoughts. She was a conflicted teenager, who wanted to be herself but at the same time be accepted.

There wasn’t really words for that when I was younger and now revisiting this book as an adult, the impact was deep. The story overall is really straightforward and fairly typical Virginia’s best friend goes away and Virginia turns to food in her loneliness, which touches on some other topics.

The author took more time with the emotional aspect of the book. You see self esteem issues, mental illness, physical abuse, family issues; the list can keep going. This seems like a lot but it isn’t over complicated.  The book is deep. So if you read this and are expecting the most dramatic of life changing events in the most dramatic way possible, you may not get that or for the most part understand it as an adult. 

Virginia could be your cousin, a student in your class, the girl in your neighborhood. She can be anyone. As a adult reading this, I think it is important for conversation. Extremely important for conversation.

Although this is a short review, I recommend this reading this banned book because it opens the door to discuss not only with a teenager but also with a adult who doesn’t know certain emotions or experiences a teen can go through.

4 Pickles

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