Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Chapter 4

By Carolyn Mackler

Chapter 4

  • And now for the worst part of Virginia's day: the school lunchroom.
  • She used to know who she was going to sit with—her best friend, Shannon Iris Malloy-Newman—but Shannon's family moved to Walla Walla, Washington because her dad's writing a book about onions.
  • Apparently Walla Walla is all about the onions.
  • Here's what Virginia usually does at lunch since Shannon left: hides in the bathroom and eats Twinkies in a stall.
  • She sums up her popularity points for us: she gains points because her brother, Byron, is a Brewster legend, but she loses them because she's fat, smart, and wears boring, baggy clothes.
  • Today Mrs. Crowley, the ninth-grade language arts teacher, intercepts her in the cafeteria.
  • Mrs. Crowley loves her some Virginia, and she also knows what's up, so she offers to let Virginia come in at lunchtime and help her grade tests, and Virginia's psyched.
  • Today, however, it's Twinkies in the stall.
  • While she's eating, the Bri-girls come in. That would be Brie, Brinna, and Briar, the popular (read: mean) girls.
  • What are they talking about? The fact that Brie saw Byron, now a sophomore at Columbia University uptown, on the subway, and they flirted.
  • Brinna asks if Byron has a sister who goes to Brewster. Briar says yeah, it's Virginia, the chubby girl.
  • Brie says she'd kill herself if she looked like Virginia—which Virginia, of course, overhears.

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