Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Challenged/Banned Books I Love #3

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things     THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS, by Carolyn Mackler

Okay, I'm back to the (in censors' opinion) too sexually explicit stuff. This one has personal importance to me because the protag is larger than average sized. You rarely see this in YA or adult genre fiction. I like to complain about the unrealistically high percentage of deaths among YA protags' parents, but the percentage of skinny teens in YA books is even more unrealistic.

But I don't have room to talk. I've fought my weight all my life (my first diet was in fourth grade). They say, write what you know, and yet, I've written four books and am working on a fifth with no larger protags in sight.

So, this is a thank-you to Carolyn Mackler, for all her work, but particularly for this one since she handles the self-esteem issues of an overweight teen in such a realistic, sympathetic and approachable way.

As for my writing diary. (See Patti Nielson's blog HERE)

Yesterday was crazy. I only wrote for a little over an hour (but I relaxed for less than that). I got a little over a page done along with revising/editing both older and the new stuff.


  1. I do want to read this book and I'm glad there are books with curvier protags. I too have struggled with my weight since 4th grade and I have a book in mind that has a protag that has some meat on her bones.

    Thank you for your comment about matched and 1984 on my blog. I agree with you. I think that dystopians can get the point across and still leave us with some hope.
    Also thanks again for choosing Matched for me. It was a perfect match.

  2. I really enjoyed the Mackler book (The Earth...) you spoke of. We read it outloud at our house. And, some of my students read it during silent reading time.

  3. This is a great book. My students love it - both for the fun title and for the powerful story.

  4. I've heard about this book, and I really need to read it. That title is enough to make me read it!

  5. I agree. The title is perfect! Glad to hear students are still enjoying this one.

  6. I haven't read this one yet, but I've seen it mentioned a lot this week. You're so right about bigger than average protags. Nice to see there are some books out there that teens dealing with these issues can identify with.

  7. Well, I could echo the idea that there are no overweight main characters in any romance fiction I've ever read (or certainly, that I can think of). They're all tall and willowy, or maybe "slightly rounded," or they're petite. That may be gamine, a la Audrey Hepburn. But they never fight the battle of the bulge! Drives me crazy. For a book that treats teen sex realistically and without a heavy hand, take a look at "A Wind in Montana." The book isn't about teen sex, but it presents the experiences of the main characters as they discover sex responsibly. What a concept -- too bad more books aren't like this. Parents should look at the book -- don't live in a state of denial about teens and sex and your own kid...

  8. Thanks for the recommendation, Liz. I've never read that one. And yes, I wish more parents would talk to their teens, about all the big issues parents don't want to think about them dealing with (but they probably are).

  9. Also Liz, Meg Cabot's adult series, Size Twelve Isn't Fat is pretty good, though light on the romance.

    And I think Jennifer Crusie wrote a romance with a heavier protag, though, for the life of me I can't recall the title. Anyone?