Friday, November 20, 2009

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

It's not like Froggy Welsh the Fourth is a huge catch. First of all, there's his name. Not a nickname for Frank or Frederick or even Frog. I'm still shocked that his great-great grandparents named a son Froggy. But what astounds me to no end is that three subsequent generations decided to follow suit.
Froggy is medium height and slender. His ruffled blond hair crests into a cowlick. His dollop of a nose reminds me of a lamb's snout. Especially since it's always pinkish, probably from so much tweaking. Whenever his pubescent voice cracks, he sounds like a screeching chicken. Put his name and traits together and you've got a farm. (8)

In The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, this is the boy that Virginia Shreves is allowing to make out with her every Monday after school, before her parents come home and before he has to go to trombone lessons. Needless to say, this is the first of many less than perfect aspects about her life, especially when she compares her larger-than-average self to her feminist older sister Anais and her idolized off-to-college brother Byron. Life is perfect for them, at least that's what Virginia thinks, until the family receives news that shatters their efforts of a perfect life. Carolyn Mackler's witty portrayal of a self-deprecating teenager won a Printz Honor when it was first released.


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