Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2007
Lara came in one day, and every-one started to giggle and stare. She was HUGE, very fat. So the kids started to call her Larger-Than-Life Lara. When a boy passed her a very mean note, Lara didn't say, "teacher, teacher! That boy just handed me a mean note!" The boy was about to go to the princibal's office for it, but Lara stopped her teacher and said a beautiful, nice poem about the boy and sat down. Now everyone would have tattled on them, and been glad they were at the princabals office. But not Lara. She memorized all of her lines for the play Fair Day by poems. She divided them up. Then, at the time of the play, the boy who had passed her the mean note splashed water balloons,and card-board pigs on her. Lara was about to cry, but then she smiled. While in the prinibals office with her parents, lara did not tell on who did that trich, even though she knew very well who did it. She left school that day, because her parents said that the kids here were too awful to lara. But then, as they were pulling out, every-one ran out with a sign, that said something nice about her, a poem. But the narrerator just said "THANKS" on her sign, but that was O.K for Larger than Life Lara. Lara was always smiling, no matter the situation. When we went to the book store, I picked up the book, and started reading! I couldn't stop, even when my brother started to bug me! I refused to leave before the book was finsihed. My parents said, "Time to Go," I never moved from my chair, and rthey said it 3 more times, but I never moved! Finally they just gave up and let me read until it was all done! I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad I stayed! It was worth it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 12, 2010
Another Dani Mackall winner. Very gritty, much like a 4th grade version of Todd Solandz's "Welcome to the Dollhouse" (1996). Somebody has already mentioned the "To Kill A Mockingbird" parallels so I am confident that I was not the only one to immediately form a mental image of Mary Badham.

Laney Grafton is the ten-year-old narrator of the story, which she claims (at the beginning) is not about her but about the title character, a 300-pound girl who has just joined Laney's 4th grade class. The story soon begins to contradict Laney's early claim and by the end the reader realizes that it is really Laney's coming-of-age story, with Lara serving an allegorical purpose.

There are some moments of especially profound insights such as when Laney discusses everyone's laughter the first time Lara is insulted: "Theresa laughed. She's kind of chubby, and I got the feeling she wasn't entirely against the idea of having someone in class who made her look skinny. I got to admit that I laughed too. But it wasn't a real laugh, and I guess that makes it worse". This assessment (or confession) says all that needs to by said about Laney's and Teresa's positions in the classroom dynamic, occupying that large middle ground between the bullies and the main victim; feeling a sort of guilty relief that someone else is drawing the majority of the cruelty and abuse.

Mackall does a good job of steering clear of the standard child's book formula, which would have made it mandatory that Laney became good friends with Lara (she doesn't). And Mackall structures the chapters in such a way that Laney gives young reader's instruction on story elements and the pitfalls that a young writer should avoid. While you would not wish to see this device in widespread use, it is quite instructive and its very uniqueness keeps it from becoming tiresome.

There are occasions when Mackall gets a little condescending in style, as she tries to convince the reader that the book was written by a child, but these probably seem less lame to someone in the book's target audience.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
I used this book to work with a Chinese student this summer. It was her choice and she really liked it. As an ESL tutoring tool, it was just right for this student, since she spoke and understood English fairly well to begin with. The vocabulary was a little challenging, but luckily, this girl relishes challenges. She was able to get many of the hidden nuances betwren the lines without my having to explain them to her. The theme of bullying is handled with care and understanding without being saccharine.

A nice piece of preadolescent literature!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2006
There are not enough superlatives for this one. I read a Kirkus review that totally "got it" regarding the instructions for writing a book which are interwoven into the plot. Kirkus said, "Her explanation of how to write a book is just as interesting as the events that she's describing. Best of all, none of this detracts from the novel's emotional core." Absolutely true.

This book is simply magical. Although for children, my husband and I read it aloud with not a kid in sight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bravo!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
really good the part where laney sees her brother at the play makes me cry it was amazing u have to read it to understand bullying and life it will change u on judging others youll teach respect and it will make u laugh and think really hard READ THIS U WONT WASTE MONEY OR TIME at first u wont like it KEEP READING ULL LOVE IT I SWEAR NO LIE
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2013
I bought this on a recommendation. The story is about a girl who is "bullied" at school. I shipped it directly to my 10-year-old great niece, so I don't know if she has started reading it. But the topic of being bullied at school in these days and times is "dead" serious!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2014
The voice in this has such style, and this is what characterization is all about. I think it has a nice twist on bullying and explains both sides, highly recommended for any young readers for an important subject.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2014
I just led a 5th grade reading session with this book and it led to many wonderful and deep discussions on personal beauty and what a true friend is! The kids and I loved this book
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2015
Great message in this book and perfect for upper-elementary students!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
A Girl Named Dan (Picture Books)
A Girl Named Dan (Picture Books) by Dandi Daley Mackall (Hardcover - May 1, 2008)
$13.29

My Boyfriends' Dogs
My Boyfriends' Dogs by Dandi Daley Mackall (Hardcover - February 4, 2010)

The One and Only Ivan
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine A. Applegate (Paperback - January 6, 2015)
$6.00
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.