In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

My hope is that this is what books become to you—as important as almost anything else on earth. This blog is about helping you find the miracle in these small, flat, rigid squares of paper while you are in middle school and beyond. Once you read alongside me, you are forever a member of my tribe of readers. No matter how you old you are, when you need to be reminded of the power of a good story, you will find me here, waiting to place one in your hands.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

JOHN GREEN: You Can’t Go Wrong With A Book By John Green

In the case that you have never heard of John Green, allow me to introduce you: Beloved Student, meet John Green, author of some of the best books.  Ever.

{click on invisible captions under pictures to watch videos}
Looking for Alaska
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
The Fault in Our Stars (Coming in Jan. 2012)

Admittedly, you did not find these books on the shelves in my classroom.  One reason is that they are really more appropriate for mature high school readers, like yourself.  However, if I am truly being honest here, I have to admit that another reason these books are not housed in my classroom is because I am a John Green hog.  If you read his books, you might understand. 

You see, John Green is a rare genius.  He has this way of making nerdiness seem REALLY cool.  If you don’t believe me, check out the video blog (vlog) he created with his equally amusing and brilliant brother, Hank.

I was recently lucky enough to hear John Green speak on the issue of censorship at the NCTE Convention.  Here is my creeper-esque photo of him.  {It is even dark and grainy because I did not use the flash to avoid being noticed.} 

Don’t judge me.  Anyway, John Green spoke about his most challenged book: Looking for Alaska.  He explained how when he wrote the book, he wrote it as Christian fiction.  Yep, that’s right.  He was shocked when people called the book “edgy.”  After hearing his explanation, I am ashamed to think that I was one of those people who would’ve called the book “edgy” (even though I would’ve done so in the most affectionate of ways).   Ultimately, the main character(s) make positive choices and are grounded in morally and ethically sound beliefs.  AND it is a great story, well told.  It is the first book I read by John Green, and you should read it too.  To describe what it is about would not do the book justice, but it made me want to be a guy so that I could have a guy friendship like the main character in the book.  There is something so charmingly loyal and attractive about guys who are good friends to each other.  Even nerdy guys.  Maybe especially nerdy guys. 


  1. I like how you called it a "creeper-esque photo." It reminds me of the one I posted on TWT last week of Alan Sitomer and Jon Scieszka. (In case you missed it, you can find it at

  2. Christy--love this new blog. And I really love that actually it's for students. I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to link to it as I create my new web site for English 9.

    Now, onto the books. I LOVE JOHN GREEN! And the Vlog Brothers. I'd have to say Looking for Alaska is my favorite book of his, probably because I've always been fascinated by kids who went away to boarding school. But he writes with such a great sense of what it is to be a teenager today.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  3. You know that, right? Lovelovelove this idea. Woo-hoo!