Looking for Alaska
Looking for Alaska by John Green has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Miles (Pudge) Halter goes to boarding school in search of the "great perhaps," — a phrase attributed to French humanist Francois Rabelais about discovering the possibilities of life beyond the present — along with his new classmates Chip (the Colonel) Martin, Takumi and beautiful but troubled Alaska. Alaska spends most of her free time drinking, smoking and musing. She is legendary for instigating pranks against the school's rich kids and leadership. But one night after a prank and a drinking binge with Pudge and the gang, Alaska crashes her car and dies. Alaska's friends spend the rest of the book trying to piece together the events of that night, to forgive themselves for not stopping her and to understand what really happens to someone after death.
While Dr. Hyde, the aging world religions teacher, doesn't provide false information about Christ and Christianity, he gives a textbook presentation, empty of any discussion about Christ's power to restore broken lives. He also places Christianity on a level playing field with Islam and Buddhism. When Pudge's school competes against a Christian school's basketball team, the Christians do a "hellfire" cheer, and Pudge and friends yell out faith-mocking comments from the bleachers.
Other Belief Systems
Pudge and friends study Buddhism and Islam alongside Christianity in their world religions class.
The teenagers' dialogue is littered with the f-word and s---, as well as other, milder profanities. The bulk of their discussions rapidly turn crass and/or sexual.
When everyone else is gone for Thanksgiving, Alaska and Pudge ransack people's rooms in search of porn. Alaska, a self-proclaimed sex addict, tells the guys a story about getting her breast "honked" and provides Pudge's girlfriend with graphic instructions on how to give him oral sex (which the girl promptly does). While dating another guy, Alaska makes out with Pudge. Pudge obsesses over Alaska's body. Prior to meeting her, however, he confesses that he wouldn't care who his girlfriend was as long as he had someone to make out with.
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Readability Age Range
13 and up
Dutton Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Reader's Group
2006 Michael L. Printz Award and an ALA Best Books for Young Adults