Looking for Alaska Paperback – Dec 28 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—From the very first page, tension fills John Green's Michael L. Printz Award-winning novel (Dutton, 2005). Miles Halter, 16, is afraid that nobody will show up at his party because he doesn't have many friends. He loves to read biographies and discover the last words attributed to famous people. He's particularly intrigued with the dying words of poet Francois Rabelais: "I go to seek a great perhaps." Miles is leaving his loving Florida home for the "great perhaps" of the same Alabama boarding school attended by his father. Ominous chapter headings (40 days before, 10 days after) reveal that something tragic may happen. At school, Miles is accepted by a brainy group of pranksters led by his roommate and Alaska Young, a smart and sexy feminist. The teen becomes captivated by his new friends who spend as much energy on sex, smoking, drinking, and cutting-up as they do on reading, learning, and searching for life's meaning. As the school year progresses, Miles's crush on Alaska intensifies, even after it becomes evident that her troubled past sometimes causes her to be self-destructive. This novel is about real kids dealing with the pressures of growing up and feeling indestructible. Listeners will be riveted as the friends band together to deal with the catastrophic events that plague their junior year, and rejoice at their triumphs. Jeff Woodman clearly delineates the voices for each character in an age-appropriate, smart-alecky manner, injecting great emotion while managing not to be overly sentimental. This story belongs in all collections for older young adults, especially those who like Chris Crutcher, David Klass, and Terry Trueman.—JoAnn Carhart, East Islip Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top 10
An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Readers
A 2005 Booklist Editors’ Choice
A Kirkus Best Book of 2005
A 2005 SLJ Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
"What sets this novel apart is the brilliant, insightful, suffering but enduring voice of Miles Halter." --Chicago Tribune
"Funny, sad, inspiring, and always compelling." --Bookpage
"Stunning conclusion . . . one worthy of a book this good." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"The spirit of Holden Caulfield lives on." --Kliatt
"What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green’s mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge’s voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska’s vanilla-and-cigarettes scent." Kirkus, starred review
"Miles’s narration is alive with sweet, self-deprecating humor, and his obvious struggle to tell the story truthfully adds to his believability. Like Phineas in John Knowles’s A Separate Peace, Green draws Alaska so lovingly, in self-loathing darkness as well as energetic light, that readers mourn her loss along with her friends." --SLJ, starred review
"...Miles is a witty narrator who manages to be credible as the overlooked kid, but he's also an articulate spokesperson for the legions of teen searching for life meaning (his taste for famous last words is a believable and entertaining quirk), and the Colonel's smarts, clannish loyalties, and relentlessly methodological approach to problems make him a true original....There's a certain recursive fitness here, since this is exactly the kind of book that makes kids like Miles certain that boarding school will bring them their destiny, but perceptive readers may also realize that their own lives await the discovery of meaning even as they vicariously experience Miles' quest." --Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
"Readers will only hope that this is not the last word from this promising new author." --Publishers Weekly
“John Green has written a powerful novel—one that plunges headlong into the labyrinth of life, love, and the mysteries of being human. This is a book that will touch your life, so don’t read it sitting down. Stand up, and take a step into the Great Perhaps.”
—K.L. Going, author of Fat Kid Rules the World, a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book
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Top Customer Reviews
So Miles sets off to spend his junior and senior years at Culver Creek, a private boarding school in Alabama. There he gains his first nickname "Pudge" (a misnomer, by far, since Miles is quite skinny); meets his first love, Alaska Young; has his first sexual encounter with a Romanian girl named Lara; and gains two great male friends, Chip "The Colonel" Martin and Takumi Hikohito. He also experiences the joys and sickness of getting drunk, the strangeness of smoking cigarettes, and the unadulterated pleasure of playing pranks.
Pudge's new group of friends have their own quirks--The Colonel memorizes countries, capitals, and populations; Alaska collects books for her Life's Library that she hasn't yet read; Takumi relishes being The Fox. They all work together to irritate their teachers, avoid confrontation with The Eagle, the school's dean, and pull off pranks against the rich Weekday Warriors that are the popular clique at Culver Creek.
But LOOKING FOR ALASKA is mostly the story of growing up, of falling in love, of dealing with loss, and getting through life as best that you can. With wonderful dialogue, fascinating prose, and characters that are so real you'll think you know them personally, this is a book well worth reading.Read more ›
I discovered Peter Jenkins when my roomate at college told me to read his first book, `A Walk Across America' when I was complaining about how pathetic this country was. He actually walked across the whole country right out of college, which is amazing, but what was truely amazing was that he stopped and worked with all kinds of different people, very different from himself. He discovered this country like no one I have ever read about and made me wonder about it and realize that I was being a bit silly for condemning it without knowing much more about it than the Boston suburbs.
Anyway since then I have become a fan of Peter Jenkins, eventhough he is more the age of my Dad.
I bought the audio version of `Looking for Alaska' for my Dad for a holiday gift and listened to it before giving it to him, as an escape from finals.
First of all Peter Jenkins has a very calming voice. And best of all he brought me to a place I had only faintly dreamed of, Alaska, and showed me more about my country.
Very few people really listen to people and feel their lives and do not judge their place in this world. Peter does and I would give anything to be able to travel with him somewhere, someday. Come to think of it I already have. I will not be the same person after reading two of his books and listening to this one.
The other thing I like about Peter is that he brings to life people I would normally not agree with or want to know and I end up at least being open to them and their points of view.
In this politically correct world, especially here at college, where everyone at time sounds like clones or drones, how refreshing.
And maybe my Dad will take Peter's example and take me on an adventure like he did all his kids in Alaska. Or for that matter, maybe I should take him on one.
This book brings us the real Alaska, which the Discovery Channel and National Geographic often do not. Yes, there is the wild beauty of Alaska in this book but there are also the seedy bar rooms. Many times these views we get of Alaska on TV only show the besuty. There is a Brown bear but instead of running down the creek after a salmon in the gold light of sunset it is defending its food by almost killing this guy who wanders too close. This is one of the most hair raising, terrifying experiences I have ever heard of. There are real live people hunting moose (for those of you that live in la-la land like one of the reviewers prior, people still hunt in Alaska to live off the meat and just to plain hunt. Hey it has not been that long since we were all predators. There are the intense visions of bright blue glaciers but also the intensely moving story of a Native woman struggling with self realization, substance abuse and marriage. Wow, sounds like reality not some Disney-fake place many of the la-la land livers amoung us prefer.
Bottom line, wonderful listening experience. Peter Jenkins is no James Earl Jones but I like the author to read their own work. I will never think of Alaksa again the same way. I commend Peter Jenkins for telling the story of the real last frontier. The more phony our work places and politicians and places of worship get, the more they run and hide from the tough truth and sugar coat our world the more I like Peter Jenkins work.
My wonderful daughter who gave me this thinks this Peter Jenkins is cool, I think he is the real deal, and I can proudly say we both strongly agree on something. By the way the portion of this book, written by Peter's daughter, Rebekah, is quite wonderful. Hopefully she will write more. I am very glad they had her read her portion of this very fine audio book.
Most recent customer reviews
Soooo goood. This made me cry like never before. This is a super easy-to-read book. Im now obssesed with all of green's work.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
In my opinion, the best of the three of John Green's books (Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines being the other two). Read morePublished 1 month ago by IcedUpSquirrel
Beautiful story. Challenges our notions of closure, purpose, and human discourse. I really enjoy this darker and more explicit John Green novel. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joseph
Paper Towns and The Fault in our Stars were books I really enjoyed but I found this book to be really slow and, honestly, not all that interesting or engrossing.Published 5 months ago by BC
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