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.
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.
Laney’s account of Lara’s persecution refreshes middle readers on literary devices and elementary writing, and, not incidentally, tutors about compassion—a sensibility too often absent from society.
Thanks again for agreeing to be our keynote author for the Northern Kentucky Book Fest 2014! Our teachers still use Larger-Than-Life Lara in their language arts programs.
We all still rave about your amazing talk and that wonderful book, Larger-Than-Life Lara. So many of our language arts teachers are using it to teach writing. Others use it teach about bullying. And the kids never feel like we’re preaching, so they don’t tune us out.
So glad to finally get you here as featured author in Nebraska in 2014! Our “scouts” have raved about your Edgar winning book. And we all love Larger-than-Life-Lara.
I want to tell you what an amazing book Larger-than-Life-Lara is. I have used this book with my fifth graders. It has been a great tool not only to teach parts of a story but also to open discussion on bullying. Your characters each are unique, and help build a story that children will hold onto for the rest of their lives. Thank you for writing a modern-day classic. I believe every library should have more than one copy available for their patrons. . . . Thanks again for writing one of the best books I have ever read to my students.
I had the privilege to hear you today at CCC as part of the Martha Holden Jennings Lecture Series. I not only enjoyed hearing all your stories, but reading them as well, as I purchased several of the books you made available. How I wish we could get copies of Larger-Than-Life Lara for all of our students!
Everyone still loves Larger-Than-Life Lara. We could have sold out over and over with paper. Schools need paperbacks. Peter and I still claim that one as a huge favorite.
Here comes Lara, a new girl in Laney’s fourth-grade class. She’s the largest kid Laney’s ever seen and even requires a special desk. Now Lara will be the one who is picked on and teased instead of Laney, right? Lara surprises everyone though. Through chapters that give instructions for writing a story, Laney not only tells Lara’s story, but also reveals her own troubled life. Touching and insightful, this book will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.