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

The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round ThingsWelcome to Banned Books Week! Carolyn Mackler’s 2003 novel, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things, received a Printz Honor Award and has been lauded for the realistic way Mackler discusses body issues, particularly big butts.

In 2008, however, The Earth was banned from an entire school district. As Mackler describes, ” The superintendent had banned the book from an entire school district. And he was responding to a parent who was offended by some words, who had not read the book, but had flipped through it and seen profanities.” (

Virginia is the heavy girl in a family of thin people. Her parents are certain that she would be happier if she lost ten or twenty pounds. Virginia suspects that it’s they who would be happier if she were slim. It breaks her heart.

Contrast Virginia’s situation with that of the saucy girl in Meghan Trainor’s “I’m All About That Bass.” She’s flaunting the sexy and the profane, with some motherly advice that Virginia could have used:

Yeah my mama she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

-Diane Colson, currently reading Aftermath by Jen Alexander

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Diane Colson

I have been a librarian working with youth since 1998, beginning at the Alachua County Library District, and later at Palm Harbor Library and Nashville Public Library. Possibly because of the edgy nature of teen literature, or possibly because my maturation process crashed at the age of fifteen years-old, I love YA books. And I enjoy working with YAs as well, although I'm just as happy doing Toddler Time. By some good fortune, I have served on a number of YALSA selection committees (Outstanding Books for the College Bound, Popular Paperbacks, Alex Award, Odyssey Award, Nonfiction Award, Morris Award, and Printz) as well as a smattering of process committees. Currently I am serving on the YALSA Board. .I also review books for VOYA, School Library Journal's Adult4Teen Blog, BookPage, and Booklist.