Laney is used to being bullied and teased for being a “hillbilly.” So when a new target for bullying comes to school, she hopes things will change. She just never expected life to change so dramatically. As the story unfurls, the reader experiences character, setting, dialogue, plotting, climax, and all the parts of writing vital to becoming a writer—as those elements occur in the actual story.
“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. … Her explanation of how to write a book is just as interesting as the events that she’s describing. Best of all, none of this detracts from the novel’s emotional core. Thoroughly enjoyable and unexpectedly wry, this book is as intelligent as it is succinct.” Elizabeth Bird, NY Public Library, in School Library Journal
“A story that can be appreciated on many levels, Larger-Than-Life Lara is told in the strong voice of Laney . . . With a strong, positive ending, which is both happy and sad, Larger-Than-Life Lara inspires the reader to treat others with respect and to be positive despite all obstacles. . .. Consistently ridiculed by her classmates, Lara always responds to her tormentors with forgiveness, and positive words and actions. The book’s discussion of literary components adds to its charm. The reader feels the emotions of both Lara and Laney while at the same time recognizing the important story elements. Teachers can use this book in so many ways – as illustrations of the parts of a successful composition, as a model of forgiveness and kind treatment of others, and finally as an example of two separate stories woven together into one marvelous tale. Review written for Christian Library Journal
“LARGER-THAN-LIFE-LARA is the most excellent book for teaching the structure of a story in a classroom. I say this from experience as a former middle school and high school English teacher, and a writing instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature for almost a decade.”
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