Monday, July 14, 2008

Larger-Than-Life Lara, by Dandy Daley Mackall

When Lara comes to Paris Elementary, the kids in 4th grade can't help but make fun of her size. But no matter how much they tease her and how mean they are to her, she just smiles back and responds with a rhyme. Not that it helps any as the kids (and even the teachers) pick on her. But in the eyes of the narrator (her classmate Laney, who has problems of her own) she is a great hero.

A moderately clever book for middle readers, with an obvious debt to Stargirl. It has a few original additions to the formula (the narrator likes to explain her literary devices and her grammar/voice is authentic). But the narrative has so many loose ends that one wishes the author had tried to do less (for example, cutting out the subplot about Laney's home life, which basically goes nowhere).

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