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Mackler, Carolyn.
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2003.
ISBN 0763619582
(4 booktalks)
Booktalk #1

Virginia Shreves is a high school sophomore living in New York City.  She has many good qualities but she tends to be a bit overweight.  And because of that, she also tends to be a bit insecure.  Like, she actually has a pretty hot boyfriend but she assumes he doesn't want to be seen with her in person.  Like, she hates lunch time in the cafeteria with no friends so she hides out in the bathroom.  She thinks she has the fat girl rules of conduct down pat and her life pretty well figured out.  Until her perfect brother does something that will shatter the illusion of their perfect family.  That's when Virginia realizes that her fat girl rules are all wrong.

Booktalk #2

Virginia has a LOT to worry about.  First there's Froggy, Froggy Welsh the fourth, to be exact.  He's not her boyfriend, or even her friend, really, but just a guy that she practices french kissing with every Monday.  Will Froggy be able to tell that he's the first guy she's ever kissed?  She wonders:

                    "Does my inexperience show?  What do I do with my tongue once it's in his mouth?  Am I suctioning my lips too tightly?  Should I keep my eyes open?  Too weird!  Or closed?  Maybe.  But what if HIS eyes are open and mine are closed and I make a freaky face and he sees it and laughs so hard that he bites my tongue off?"

                    And Froggy is the least of her worries.  Her best friend just moved to the other side of the country, her plus-sized body is showing no signs of getting smaller, and her grades are dropping.  To top it off, her pefect family is getting on her last nerve.  Her mom, the workout queen, can't stop criticizing Virginia.  Her dad seems like he's off in space most of the time.  Her older brother and sister have moved out and have perfect lives.  Then one day a phone call brings shocking news that turns Virginia's life upside down.  To learn Virginia's secret, you'll have to read The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.  (Beth McGuire,, Burke High School, Charleston, SC)

Booktalk #3

The Fat Girl Code of Conduct - by Virginia Shreves – 1. Any sexual activity is a secret.  No public displays of affection.  2. Don’t discuss your weight with him.  3. Go further than skinny girls.  If you can’t sell him on your body, you’d better overcompensate with sexual perks.  4. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever push the relationship thing.
Virginia believes she must live by these rules because she is not perfect and skinny like the rest of her family.  Therefore, she doesn’t deserve to have a real relationship with Froggy Welsh the Fourth (yes that is his real name).  However, once Virginia begins to see that not everyone in her family is perfect after her brother is charged with date rape and her mother admits she used to be fat, Virginia begins to re-evaluate how she wants to live her life.  Read The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things to see whether Virginia can re-make the rules of her life.  (Charlene Zehner,  South Carolina Book Awards, 2006)

Booktalk #4

Virginia Shreves feels that she can’t live up to others in her family and in fact wonders if she was switched at birth --- she’s overweight and blond, they’re slim and brunette.When Virginia’s older God-like brother is suspended from college for date rape, Virginia begins to question her worship of family members and makes some freeing decisions on her own.  Black-eyed Susan Award nominee 2005-2006

SUBJECTS:      Self-perception -- Fiction.
                        Assertiveness (Psychology) -- Fiction.
                        Family problems -- Fiction.
                        Weight control -- Fiction.
                        High schools -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction.


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