laraAuthor: Dandi Daley Mackall

Publisher: Tyndale

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

This book that should be read by all young kids! It that tackles a difficult topic in a beautiful way.

Laney Grafton is a ten-year-old writing a story about what happens when her class gets a new girl who isn’t like everyone else. When Lara shows up in class, it is obvious from looking at her that she will be the target of bullying.  She is larger than anyone these fourth graders have ever seen.  Instead of letting the bullying beat her down, Lara surprises everyone and smiles through it all.  Several of the kids go above and beyond with how harsh and cruel they are.  Throughout it all, Laney stays quiet since she is being left alone for once.  With crafty titles about storytelling and an overall extraordinary tale about a girl that is able to transform an entire class, Larger-Than-Life-Lara shows us the best and worst in every single one of us.

Bullying is such a horrible aspect of growing up that unfortunately almost everyone has to deal with at some point. Larger-Than-Life Lara tackles this subject in a unique way.  By telling the story from Laney’s point of view, we see how everyone is affected in many different ways.  This is a book that I think should be in all schools and read and discussed together.  Kids of all ages could get so much out of this book.  The way that Lara reacted to the treatment of the other kids shows how she is Larger than Life in more ways than just here size. We could all learn from all of the characters in this book, either in how to act or how not to treat someone.  At times, the writing style seems a little odd but since the narrator is a ten year old it worked out really well.  The book is short, less than 200 pages, making it an easy read.  I finished it in one day.  I hate to see the need for books like this, but it is needed now more than ever.  So many kids are bullied in one way or another and being over weight is probably one of the hardest to deal with.  Mackall did an excellent job setting up this story in a way that will make an impact with readers while also not being too lengthy and losing younger readers.  Overall this was an excellent read that I will be high recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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