Larger Than Life Lara

Written by Dandi Daley Mackall
Illustrated by Beth Herzog

Reviewed by Margaret W. (age 11)

Have you ever been teased because of the way you look? Have you ever teased someone because of his or her size? Well Lara, one of the characters in the book, Larger Than Life Lara, definitely knows all about teasing. And Laney, the main character will definitely learn one of the most important lessons of her life, a lesson about judging others.

Lara is the new girl and has no friends. Why? The kids in her class just can't get over her size! They only accept people who look cool on the outside and Lara, the biggest person they've ever seen does not fit their idea of cool. Because of that, none of the kids really try to get to know Lara. How does Lara deal with being mage fun of? She just smiles and continues to be the best person she can be. Lara is creative, smart, and nice. Will Laney and her classmates ever get to know the real Lara? You'll just have to read this fantastic book by Dandi Daley Mackall to find out.

I really found Lara interesting and liked her too. Since Lara does not fit in and is fat, she gets teased. Unlike most people who are teased, Lara tries to ignore the teasers instead of fighting back. She understands that people are sometimes mean because they want attention and maybe are sad. She knows they are trying to make themselves feel better by making other feel like them. Sometimes the person teasing doesn't know they are doing this, but Lara knows. Because Lara knows this, she keeps up the smiles and is as nice as she can be, completely ignoring the kid's comments. The author also has a great writing style. It is from the point of view of one of the students, Laney. Laney knows what it is liked to be teased. I feel sorry for both Laney and Lara. I feel this way because teasing is not right and it has happened to both of them more than once. Nobody knows the real them. This is also a great book because the story is paced as if it was only a small part of Lara's life yet it was such a big part in her life. The pace showed how events happened day by day. It felt as if you were there. It was like reading a movie. I thought that was cool and attracts the reader. Lara and Laney feel like your friend in this book.

I recommend this book to people who have been teased or people who have teased others. This book is also good for people who have been talked about behind their backs and vice versa. The whole book is about teasing and the effects teasing causes. It teaches all about the problems that go along with fitting in and judging people. This is a great book.

Margaret W. is a student in Mrs. Grunow's 5th Grade Class
2007-2008