Fourth grade is hard, but it’s especially hard when you are totally different than the kids in your class. Lara is different because she’s fat, really fat, and when she walks into Laney’s classroom, everyone can tell that Lara is going to be a big deal, and maybe not in the best way. Larger-Than-Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall is a middle grade or young readers book about what it means to be different, and accepting of others.
The first thing that the kids in Lara’s new class notice is that Lara doesn’t shy away, like a “fat kid should” she’s boisterous, and she puts herself out there, she’s confident and ready to take a part in the classroom play. Her demeanor changes when some kids in the class decide it’s okay to knock Lara down a few pegs and start to bully her, because of her weight.
Through the eyes of Laney, we get to see how bullying can create such turmoil in young people, and we can see how the light in someone’s eyes can go out because of the cruelty of others. This was the perfect book for a young person to read, especially one that is being bullied, is a bully, or even sees bullying in their every day life. Using the mind of a child, this book shows us that during a time when there are real issues going on like bullying, we can change ourselves and others to make them see what they are really doing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will pass it along to my step-son in order to carry on the feeling that bullying is never tolerated and should not be a part of his life. I hope that parents and children, even teachers and principals alike, will read this book and share the message with their friends, family, and classmates. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it was raw, real and even though I cringed through it, it put me in a better place than I was in before I read this book. I received this book from Tindale Blog Network.