Study Guide

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Family

By Carolyn Mackler

Family

Parents and siblings can often make you feel like an alien who crash-landed on a planet populated by a less-intelligent race, but in Virginia's case in The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, the natives are all beautiful, too. Her mom's a shrink who lives on lettuce and yoga, her dad's a clueless dude who likes skinny women, and her brother and sister might as well be the Jolie-Pitt twins. While her parents worship at the Church of Byron, Virginia's eats Frosted Flakes in bed and wishes they—her parents, not the Frosted Flakes—would just realize she exists.

Questions About Family

  1. Does Virginia's dad really think he's helping when he buys her a mirror, or is he just doing what her mom wants him to do?
  2. Why do the Shreves parents have a Biannual Byron Brunch, but nothing for Anaïs? After all, she's perfect too, right?
  3. Is Virginia's mom only sensitive to teen issues when she's getting paid to be?
  4. Should Byron have been allowed to move back home after getting suspended for date rape?

Chew on This

The Shreves children become who their parents mold them to be.

Virginia walks out on her mother's presentation because she feels her mother walked out on her entire life.

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