Saturday, August 23, 2008

Larger Than Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall

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Originally, I read this book at the request of a friend, not intending to review it. She's hunting for appropriate reading material for her 13 year old granddaughter that will help point the way to God.

Let me say up front that God is never mentioned in this book once in a Christian way. But He is all over this story, and I wish it was required reading in every elementary, junior high, and high school in America.

My only fear is that today's youth would miss the point entirely.

Written from the perspective of an eleven year old girl who has been taught creative writing by a frustrated English teacher (Sorry, Mrs. Smith...but you taught her to tell the truth, and she taught me the same thing:-), "Larger Than Life Lara" is a story for anyone who's been unmercifully teased, or the one who's done the teasing.

Laney Grafton is an eleven year old from a very troubled home, and she's normally the butt of everyone's jokes, pranks and taunting. But when Lara Phelps walks in, the entire atmosphere of the classroom changes.

Because Lara, literally, is larger than life.

From an eleven year old perspective, she weighs around 300 pounds--which I'm certain is exaggeration. But the teasing isn't. Having been heavy most of my life, I assure you...it isn't exaggeration.

What's most surprising isn't the students reaction to Lara.

It's her reaction to THEM.

And that's where Jesus shows up.

Want to know more? I'm afraid I'm going to be mean and make you read it for yourself, then to your kids, and then to their friends...and maybe this one little book about a little girl who's larger than life...

...maybe she can make a difference for some other little girl (or boy) before it goes the wrong direction.

I'm giving "Larger Than Life Lara" the golden bookmark. Nothing else can be said except Don't. Miss. Lara.

Happy Reading!

Deena

1 comment:

Lenore said...

That sounds amazingly uplifting. Thanks for the recommendation.