YAL - Young Adult Literature Presenter Unit 2014/2015



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The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green


YAL Presenter Unit 2014/2015

Subjects: English
Grade Level: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Posted: 2014, CCSS, Common Core State Standards
Unit Created by: Lynette Emmons and Mary Massie

What makes this a good YAL choice...

This book has many attributes that qualify it as a good choice: it is well-written, appealing to young people as well as adults, a coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl and boy who are also dealing with health crises, it contains lessons for living that are not preachy, and it is one of the best-selling books in the world of the past several years. Commonly called a young adult romance (albeit with young lovers facing cancer), this phenomenal best seller has also been described as “an elegiac comedy.” The Fault in Our Stars manages to juxtapose gritty details of living with cancer with poignantly hilarious commentary from those in the midst of it. This novel is elegantly plotted, with complex language, and characters so appealingly real that you may think of them as your friends. Millions of teens and adults name this as their favorite book and follow author John Green’s blog with dedicated fervor. The Fault in Our Stars might best be seen as a book to recommend to students for free reading, but it also could lead to student inquiries into such topics as the science of cancer treatments, the power of support groups, what makes a good friend, how to live while facing the specter of death, the role of poetry, art, and literature in helping us live life fully, and it could be studied as a modern counterpart to such classic tragic romances as Romeo and Juliet. — Mary Massie


YAL Conference Workshop Description
The Power of Novels to Inspire Lifelong Reading: The Fault in Our Stars
Lynette Emmons and Mary Massie, Presenters

Why has this novel been a worldwide bestseller for two years and counting? Here is your chance to find out! A plot summary cannot do justice to the compelling characters and experiences author John Green gives us through Hazel and Gus, two teens determined not to let cancer define them. Readers gravitate to these characters for the way they live with humor, quirkiness, and authenticity, despite the unfairness of their circumstances. Green’s skillful writing is worthy of study, especially paired with a traditional classic or nonfiction text, as this workshop will demonstrate using action strategies and brief close readings. More than anything else, though, this is a book teens and adults can take to heart and find personally inspiring. Tears are likely, but laughter and delight are certain rewards for reading this new YA classic. — Workshop Description for YAL 2014