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When Lara Phelps walks into Laney Grafton's fourth-grade class, Laney feels the air change. Lara is fat. Really fat. Finally, there will be someone else for the boys to pick on, Laney thinks. But as the class prepares for the school play, Lara doesn't act the way a fat kid should. She's confident. She's happy. And nothing, it seems, can change her positive attitude. Until one day, when Laney's classmates do the unthinkable.
Bestselling author Dandi Daley Mackall tells this original and poignant story through the use of sparkling language, a winsome narrator, and a clever structure that illustrates just what makes a story a story.
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Dandi Daley Mackall is theauthor of numerous books for children, includingLarger-Than-Life Lara. She lives in West Salem, Ohio,with her husband and their three children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6–Ten-year-old Laney Grafton is more than a little relieved when Lara Phelps (immediately dubbed Larger-Than-Life Lara) joins her class. Enormously fat and relentlessly kind, Lara distracts the local bullies from all the negative attention that Laney has previously received. Unfortunately, Laras cheerfulness attracts quite a lot of nasty attention from her other classmates as well until something happens that tears down Laras remarkable spirit entirely. Laney is an engaging narrator. Particularly delightful is the way in which she tells the story. Each chapter has a title that is related to the narrative, such as Rising Action, Suspense, Dialogue, etc. Laney then explains why she chose to include or hold back pertinent information in accordance with her teachers storytelling rules. Her explanation of how to write a book is just as interesting as the events that shes describing. Best of all, none of this detracts from the novels emotional core. Thoroughly enjoyable and unexpectedly wry, this book is as intelligent as it is succinct. A good companion piece to Tony Abbotts Firegirl (Little, Brown, 2006).–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
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