I have been looking forward to reading Paper Towns by John Green since it came out but never got around to it. While I was at NCTE 2011 in Chicago I had the opportunity to stand in line and have John Green sign a book. They were selling Paper Towns at a discounted price so I jumped at the opportunity! I’m so glad I did. I’ve read other books by Green, An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska and enjoyed both so I wasn’t surprised that I liked Paper Towns as well. I really enjoyed that there was a male protagonist that seemed relatable and that there were significant characters that were male and female which should make this a book that can appeal to all teens. The book follows one boys quest to find his neighbor, a beautiful girl, whom he has admired for years. There is quite a bit of mystery and suspense in the novel which appealed to me. This was not an easily predictable book. One other thing that I really liked about this book was the including of poetry from Walt Whitman- I like to think that perhaps it will not only expose teens to another form of writing but spark an interest in it as well.
I do not see myself using this book as a classroom read in the future but I would put it on my classroom book shelf. There is some talk of sex and drinking but in a frank and realistic way that does not glorify it or condemn it. You will find some “inappropriate” language in the book but again it’s well places and not gratuitous in nature. Scholastic labels this book as being a 9-12th grade interest level and I agree. The characters are seniors in high school and I think the content makes it a high school level book despite it’s lower reading level.
The Lowdown (Via Scholastic)
Interest Level: Grade 9 – Grade 12 (I agree with this)
Grade Level Equivalent: 5.5
Lexile® measure: 850L
Educational Materials Available: SRC! Quiz, AR Quiz
2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
Filed under: First Love/Crushes, Fitting In, John Green, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Uncategorized | Tagged: edgar award, John Green, walt whitman, YA Literature, Young Adult | 1 Comment »