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Banned book review: Looking for Alaska


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Written by Ariel Pan

Banned for being sexually explicit, age-inappropriate and containing offensive language, John Green’s Printz Award-winning “Looking for Alaska” was the most challenged book of 2015.

A mere 221 pages long, “Looking for Alaska” is split into two parts: a before and an after. Away from home for the first time, Miles Halter, nicknamed Pudge, joins his new friends in illicit drinking, cigarette-smoking and pranking, and falls in love with the mysterious Alaska Young.

Francois Rabelais’ last words, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps,” play a huge role, as Pudge, a relatable character, is an average kid, searching for a Great Perhaps.

“Looking for Alaska” is great for older readers. The heavy topics can be harder to understand for younger readers; I first read “Looking for Alaska” in eighth grade and I almost didn’t finish it because I thought it was boring. This book will resonate more with those who have lost a loved one because it discusses different ways to respond to grief: holding life at a standstill or searching for answers. It also motivates us to find our Great Perhaps; we may not get a second chance at life.

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Banned book review: Looking for Alaska