May 13, 2013

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:53 am by suebe2

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
AR 5.8

At 16 years-old, Miles Halter’s life has been safe and more than a little bit boring.  He’s an excellent student but he has no real friends and his life hold no adventure.  Miles’ one hobby is collecting the last words of famous people; this hobby is the one reason that he likes to read biographies.  How can you have great words of any kind if you’ve never lived?

Miles transfers to Culver Creek Boarding School where his father went to school.  The school in rural Alabama is a world apart from his comfortable Florida home.  The majority of the students may be wealthy teens who live there only during the week, but the dorms are unairconditioned even in the worst of the summer heat. The night before classes start, Miles is snatched from his room, mummified in duct-tape and tossed into the lake.  He manages to free himself and his roommate helps him plot a prank to get even.

Miles soon finds that the classes at Culver Stockton are much more difficult than his old school so a lot of time is spent studying.  His remaining time is spent in planning pranks with his roommate, a brilliant scholarship student and a gorgeous girl named Alaska.

And then something happens that changes their lives forever.

I can’t tell much more about the actual plot without completely spoiling it.  This book is true YA.  There is alcohol (a lot) and there is sex (two or three scenes).

That said, this is a very powerful book about friendship and trying to find meaning in the meaningless things that happen every day, some having almost no impact at all and some changing more than anyone could possibly imagine.  Themes of responsibility, guilt, love and forgiveness pull it all together.

While the reading level is well within the range of a middle schooler, I’m not sure a younger reader would be as interested in this as an early young adult.






  1. […] Looking for Alaska, by John Green. Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.  I love this one for the same reasons that I love #3.   […]

  2. […] Looking for Alaska, by John Green for substance abuse, sex, and unsuitability for age group.  Another truly amazing book.  Why don’t they ever ban the boring books?  Oh, wait.  They do if someone is nekked.   […]

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