Monday, September 21, 2009

Looking For Alaska

This Young Adolescent book tells the story of 3 well to do teens in a boarding school. One of the stories main characters, Miles or Pudge as he will soon be known, is going through some changes that a lot of people, not just teens, can relate to. He is leaving his home and going to a boarding school where he will know no one. From the reading we gather at his previous school he was not that popular and didn't have many friends. This all changes once he gets to Culver Creek and meets his new roommate Chip, or The Colonel as we will get to know him. While at school he meets Alaska. His feelings for her seem to grow as the story progresses. This story centers around three typical teens in school, playing pranks, and trying to get throug
h the day. What I think stands out about them and makes theses characters so interesting is the way they deal with certain issues.

Alaska, when she was a child, watched her mother die. She is still obviously dealing with he pain and guilt she feels from this experience. It is up to you as the reader to decide if this shapes some of her impulsive and wild actions now that she is older.

These kids are who drink, smoke, and play pranks on people. A lot of people may suggest this book deals with topics that are too risky. Some may even suggest it will give teens negative ideas about dealing with drinking. However, most kids now days are either already participating in these activities OR at least knows someone who is and that someone is likely to be a close friend. What this book does for parents and teachers is allows students to see the way that drinking can affect your life. Sometimes when your on the outside looking in you see things differently. It raises the issues that a lot of teachers are timid to bring up such as death and suicide.

When I look read this book I most identified with Miles. Every school year I feel like I'm in search of something new. Like I am looking for something to help reveal something about myself that I didn't know was there before. As far as his "relationship" with Alaska goes, I'm sure there are A LOT of us out there who can relate to having feelings for someone but being unsure of their feelings toward you.

So to the parents, even with the book having teenagers drinking, smoking, and making many references to sex this book is GREAT for your child to read. Everyone goes through different tragedies in their life and to see the way people deal with it can help you. I don't know if I would recommend this book in a classroom but I would DEFINITELY recommend it to and individual student who is going through any of the issues raised in the book.

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