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Overview
Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist
A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
A 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice
A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Miles "Pudge" Halter is abandoning his safe-okay, boring-life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps."
Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally.
John Green's stunning debut marks the arrival of a stand-out new voice in young adult fiction.
Winner of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award

Related Subjects
·         Teen Fiction - Choices & Transitions
·         Teen Fiction - School


Editorial Reviews:


Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
A deeply affecting coming-of-age story, Looking for Alaska traces the journey of Miles Halter, a misfit Florida teenager who leaves the safety of home for a boarding school in Alabama and a chance to explore the "Great Perhaps." Debut novelist and NPR commentator Green perfectly captures the intensity of feeling and despair that defines adolescence in this hip, shocking, and emotionally charged work of fiction.
Miles has a quirky interest in famous people's last words, especially François Rabelais's final statement, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." Determined not to wait for death to begin a similar quest, Miles convinces his parents to let him leave home. Once settled at Culver Creek Preparatory School, he befriends a couple of equally gifted outcasts: his roommate Chip -- commonly known as the Colonel -- who has a predilection for memorizing long, alphabetical lists for fun; and the beautiful and unpredictable Alaska, whom Miles comes to adore.

The kids grow closer as they make their way through a school year filled with contraband, tests, pranks, breakups, and revelations about family and life. But as the story hurtles toward its shattering climax, chapter headings like "forty-six days before" and "the last day" portend a tragic event -- one that will change Miles forever and lead him to new conclusions about the value of his cherished "Great Perhaps." (Summer 2005 Selection)

Publishers Weekly
Teenager Miles chronicles his first year at boarding school. According to PW, "The novel's chief appeal lies in Miles's well-articulated lust (for Alaska, the title girl) and his initial excitement about being on his own for the first time." Ages 14-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Children's Literature
This is an amazing first novel by a writer who is young enough to vividly remember his poignant years of high school and skillful enough to turn his memories into story. His sixteen-year-old hero is Miles Halter (or Pudge as he is latter dubbed by friends). Miles is a friendless geek who is determined to reinvent himself when he leaves home for an Alabama boarding school. Green quickly establishes the reality of his unique character and immediately hooks teen audiences by describing his desire to fit in, his passion for collecting the last words of the famous, and his desire for sex and fun. The other characters are equally appealing, and young adult readers will understand why it takes no time at all for Miles to become a smoking, drinking prankster who cavorts around with his zany roommate, "the Colonel" and the wild, beautiful, eccentric, sexually-liberated Alaska Young. Believable, often-humorous dialogue and strong feelings fill the story of a young boy who is far greater than a collection of adolescent impulses. Miles is driven to understand what Rabelais calls "Great Perhaps" as well as what motivates the unfathomable Alaska. His urges for sex are balanced by his need to grasp life's mystery, especially when tragedy interrupts what looked like a romp of a first year away from home. The story is rough, realistic and compelling. Unlike the other award-winning books, this title has characterizations that connect, conversations that ring true, references to inspire further reading, and theological and philosophical truths that speak to young adults and leave them with questions that haunt them. 2005, Penguin, Ages 13 up.
—Susie Wilde

School Library Journal
Gr 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 CarhartCopyright 2006 ReedBusiness Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The Alaska of the title is a maddening, fascinating, vivid girl seen through the eyes of Pudge (Miles only to his parents), who meets Alaska at boarding school in Alabama. Pudge is a skinny ("irony" says his roommate, the Colonel, of the nickname) thoughtful kid who collects and memorizes famous people's last words. The Colonel, Takumi, Alaska and a Romanian girl named Lara are an utterly real gaggle of young persons, full of false starts, school pranks, moments of genuine exhilaration in learning and rather too many cigarettes and cheap bottles of wine. Their engine and center is Alaska, given to moodiness and crying jags but also full of spirit and energy, owner of a roomful of books she says she's going to spend her life reading. Her center is a woeful family tragedy, and when Alaska herself is lost, her friends find their own ways out of the labyrinth, in part by pulling a last, hilarious school prank in her name. 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. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details
·         ISBN-13: 9780142402511
·         Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
·         Publication date: 12/28/2006
·         Edition description: Reprint
·         Pages: 256
·         Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.65 (d)

About the Author


John Green is the author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. He lives in New York

More of this author
·         The Fault in Our Stars
·         John Green Box Set
·         Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
·         The John Green eSampler

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