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My weekend at a nerd convention

nerdcon 2017 logo

French the llama, puppy-sized elephants! Don’t forget to be awesome. If that made sense to you, you might be a Nerdfighter. If it didn’t, here, have a rabbit hole. And another. And another. If it still doesn’t make sense to you, have an entry point: Basically, the community of Nerdfighters, or Nerdfighteria, formed around the […]

Paper Towns movie review

Paper Towns poster

If Paper Towns, the book by John Green (Dutton, October 2008) were a comedy, it would be Paper Towns, the movie (directed by Jake Schreier; Fox/Temple Hill, July 2015; PG-13). That’s not to say the novel lacks funny moments. It has plenty, and the new film makes good use of them. There are pranks and […]

Last adolescent lit class

The Fault in our Stars

For our last class, students are reading The Fault in Our Stars, which I offer as a “dessert book” after their hard work this term, and also as a comparison love story to Eleanor and Park from our second week. The class will also read Katrina and Rachel’s take on “What Makes a Good Love […]

Does YA Mean Anything Anymore?: Genre in a Digitized World – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

The Fault in our Stars

When we look to the astonishing growth of children’s books — especially YA books — in the last twenty years, we like to credit individuals — J. K. Rowling, for instance. But while it’s a kind of national obligation in the United States to praise individuals over collectives, I want to argue tonight that making […]

The Fault in Our Stars movie review

fault in our stars movie poster

Last year, we teamed up to write “What Makes a Good YA Love Story?”, and much of our answer to that question was based on the epically beloved, critically acclaimed 2012 novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. What we both loved so much about this damn-near perfect teen love story is that, […]

This Star Won’t Go Out

earl_this star won't go out

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I did not know much about Esther Grace Earl when I began reading her diaries — which seemed a tad voyeuristic on my part. This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Earl (with her parents Lori and Wayne Earl) collects Esther’s musings and drawings, which span […]

Review of The Fault in Our Stars

the fault in our stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green High School    Dutton    321 pp. 1/12    978-0-525-47881-2    $17.99    g I suppose this is a cancer book, but as its inimitable heroine Hazel would say, “It’s not a cancer book, because cancer books suck.” Evoking yet transcending such teen-illness classics as Paige Dixon’s May I Cross Your Golden […]