The recent controversy over a John Green book in Florida piqued my interest, so when I found another of his books -“Looking for Alaska” – for $4.99 on my iPad, I bought and read it on my next flight. Green uses his own experiences as fodder for an inside glimpse of high schoolers at boarding school. This young adult book was entertaining, thoughtful, and – yes – it made me cry. Probably more appropriate for high schoolers than middle school grade, yet these days fourth graders seem to know more about sex than most of us did as college freshman.
Pudge, the hero of the story, collects the dying words of the famous, and Green sprinkles the story with quotes – two define the characters and their futures:
“I go to seek the Great Perhaps”…Francois Rabelais
“How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!”…Simon Bolivar
With famous last words on my mind, I attended the matinee of “Sense and Sensibility” at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. In the opening scene, father Dashwood responds to his insensitive son’s query about his health with “I’m dying…” and soon after nods off. Good last lines are hard to come by.
An article in the LA Times “Book Jacket” – Florida School Nixes John Green’s ‘Paper Towns,’ Prompts Outcry– reporting on the book banning of this young adult mystery in Orlando, Florida, had me searching for the book. Although I have avoided John Green’s much touted The Fault in Our Stars – too sad – I have liked the author ever since I saw him interviewed on the Colbert Report.
I am number 10 on the wait list at my library – so someone must be reading this book. Have you?
Paper Towns by John Green
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
Awards: A Junior Library Guild selection, Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery, New York Times bestseller