When my student put Paper Towns by John Green on the list of novels that she expected me to read this summer, I was pretty excited to see that something on my TBR list was on her list for me. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone! Well, both birds are dead now, and it's time to do some
In Paper Towns, John Green tells the story of Quentin "Q" Jacobsen and his comrades as they seek out their classmate, Margo, after she runs away. Always an enigma, Margo seems to have left a variety of clues in her wake. Q takes it upon himself to find her, believing that there is a possibility that she has left Orlando to commit suicide. This book is filled with comedy, romance, and challenges to a young man's judgment and value system.
I loved it! I did not want to put this book down once I started it! Green has a wonderful ability to not only tell a story, but to pull his audience into it as though they are truly present for the events. While many authors are able to do so, Green's provocative use of imagery brings this to the next level.
Additionally, Green has a remarkable talent for entering the brains of the teenagers in his story and in his audience. He expertly uses this gift to provide several hilarious moments of laughter at pee and the unpredictable nature of life.
Unfortunately, Green doesn't seem to truly grasp what is taught in public schools today. Many of Q's classes are way beyond what several states and the Common Core requires, demonstrating a lack in research. However, I teach in Minnesota. Maybe the Floridian standards require their students to speak Latin?
I would not be willing to supply a copy for my classroom library. While it provides a plot that teenagers will love, I cannot endorse the many descriptions of alcohol and drunkenness in this book. At one point, Q and his friends are driving around with 212 beers in the back of a minivan. They had this same amount of beer in the same minivan in their school's parking lot. While I understand that some students choose to take part in underage drinking, I do not need to supply them with any examples or ideas. Though I would not buy a copy for my classroom, I would not confiscate any copies that my students bring in. After all, why stop them from reading a good book?
Much like The Fault in Our Stars, Green provides a heart-wrenching and emotional tale in Paper Towns. I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
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