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

Reasons why The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things could get you into trouble if you try using it for 7th grade book clubs:

  1. The narrator is seeing this guy who is trying to get to second base with her.
  2. The narrator kind of wants him to get to second base.
  3. He gets there.
  4. The narrator has serious problems with her mother.
  5. The narrator goes to Seattle against her mother’s wishes.
  6. While in Seattle the narrator and her best friend get piercings.
  7. One is a tongue piercing.
  8. Several girls at the narrator’s school have serious eating disorders.
  9. She hears one of them in an adjoining bathroom stall.
  10. The narrator’s best friend has a slight crush on a boy who turns out to be gay.
  11. The narrator’s visits her brother’s dorm where he has a keg of beer for a ‘sluts and virgins’ party.
  12. The narrator’s brother is accused of date rape.
  13. He’s guilty.
  14. The narrator discusses masturbation.
  15. Characters in the book listen to feminist leaning musicians and read banned books.

Reason’ why I loved The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things so much I almost wish I taught high school where it would be totally appropriate to use with book clubs:

  1. The narrator is a wonderful person.
  2. The narrator has a weight problem.
  3. She’s strong enough to deal with her problem; she just doesn’t know it yet.
  4. She has a winning sense of humor, really. I’m not just saying that because she’s overweight.
  5. She makes several lists. I like lists.
  6. She’s brave enough to get a piercing. I once went to a piercing parlor with a friend who got one but I was too chicken. No tattoos on me either, but my brother has several.
  7. The narrator is brave enough to face the truth about her brother and still keep him in the family.
  8. The author is brave enough to make him guilty. I thought it would all turn out to be a misunderstanding. A lesser writer would have taken that route.
  9. While the narrator’s parents are far from perfect, the author gives the novel two other adults who actually know more than the teenage narrator does. How often does that happen these days.
  10. The narrator still lives with both of her parents.  They’re all trying to work things out.

 

I first ran this review on my old blog, Ready When You Are, C.B. back in 2010.  Since then, I’ve stopped reading quite so much Y.A.  Things may have changed within the genre over the years so I’m not sure if I would update any of the items I’ve listed above.  Maybe.

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2 Comments

  1. Huh…. I read that book as a kid, probably in 7th or 8th grade, and remember it being age appropriate. If kids that age deal with those issues in real life, why not read about them as well so they can be discussed in a safe setting?

    1. You might want to keep your job, but……

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