Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacation Randomness

I thought I would get more reading done while on vacation, but I'm busy playing with the kiddies and making sure they don't drown (esp. when the public beach tells you they can't use FLOATIES!) ugh. Anyway, I AM engrossed in PAPER TOWNS by John Green. Not due out until Oct, but it seems like everyone in kidlitosphere has an ARC. Thanks to my friend, Jen, who will be doing YA podcasts for READ,WRITE, THINK ( and is getting LOTS of these coveted morsels. I am gladly taking them off of her hands when she's done. So, I think this is an exceptional novel. John Green is just so dang smart! And, I love the way he weaves literature, meaning, coming of age, and friendship into every novel he has. I especially love the way he depicts road trips for teens! Quentin, after a night of "mystery" with his long-time love, Margo Roth Spiegelman, decides to go find her when she doesn't show up for the next 6 days and is considered a runaway. The excerpt I found most satisfying was his metaphor of mini-van as moving home. He delineated the different spaces of the car to different rooms in a house as he and his friends Radar, Ben, and Lacey were using them. The passenger seat was the "family room" and the driver's seat was the "living room" because you couldn't get too comfy there and it had to stay neater. The console was dubbed the "kitchen" and the bench seats were "bedrooms." The journey to find the "real" Margo through Walt Whitman's LEAVES OF GRASS was a phenomenal reference to literature and it's relation to life. This was exceptional for 18 year-old Quentin. The ending is satisfying to the reader and the journey is filled with humor (much, laugh out loud), searching, longing and that creative literary edge we all seemed to have in early adulthood- before marriage and children. The searching for meaning of Margo as a person through Whitman's poem had me captivated (because I'm a bookish English teacher). Happy Reading! Read to your kids! No kids? Read to a neighbor or relative.

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