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Bestselling author Dandi Daley Mackall tells this ...
Bestselling author Dandi Daley Mackall tells this original and poignant story through the use of sparkling language, a winsome narrator, and a clever structure that illustrates just what makes a story a story.
Posted July 23, 2006
This is a book I wish every kid would read---every bully, every person ever bullied in school, and all the kids who watch bullying , but don't step in. I laughed out loud at the Narrator's matter -of-fact storytelling. And then on the next page, I round myself crying and wishing I could be half the person Lara is. I'm giving this book to all of my children's teachers. It should be required reading!
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Posted May 20, 2007
Laney Grafton, a nearly 10-year-old 4th grader at an elementary school in Paris, Missouri is writing a story, that's not about her life, so she claims, but about 'Larger-than-Life-Lara'. Lara Phelps is a new kid in the fourth grade and she quickly becomes the target for some mean jokes due to her being at least 300 pounds, hence the name, ¿Larger-Than-Life¿. Laney used to be teased, but now that Lara's here, she's been forgotten. While Laney feels bad for Lara, she¿s glad she¿s no longer picked on because her life at home is difficult enough and though the story is ¿not about Laney,¿ we find out a great deal about her life, too. There are incidences of a drunk and abusive father, a memory of a mother who ran away, and then there¿s Laney having to do the work around the house and keep her brothers from killing each other. As the story unfolds, we find that Lara is very intuitive, genuinely happy, and most of all, very forgiving. She retaliates against the bullying, not with meanness, but with simple and sweet poetry. She never stops smiling. 'She's the kind of person you never forget'. The book is written from Laney Grafton¿s point of view and is supposed to seem to be written by Laney herself. Some of the titles of the chapters include Character, Conflict, Rising Action, and Climax. Laney is describing how to write a story while doing just that. I loved reading the book, and actually did so in just a couple of hours. I found that I was trying to put myself in the situations and I realized that the issues in this book are definitely issues of which kids of this age can relate. These issues include poverty, neglect, and bullying, along with others. There were times that I thought there might be a little too much going on in the book, with Lara¿s story, Laney¿s story, and the explanation of how to write a story all intertwining. Overall, I do recommend this book to children of this age and it could also be of great use in a writing classroom.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2006
Kids and teachers alike will love this book!Larger-Than-Life Lara grabbed me on the first page and I couldn't put it down until the last page. I feel like I've know every one of these characters. Author, Dandi Mackall, has woven a story with a strong voice, engaging characters, and a larger- than-life heroin who rises above the cruelty of bullies. By the end of the book the reader not only walks away with a wider view of life, but also will have learned all the parts of a well writen story. This is a must read! If kid's books could be on Oprah, this would be on the top of her book club list.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 19, 2006
This is a sensitive, insightful novel that makes readers evaluate their own actions. The narrator reminds me of of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2009
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