Looking for Alaska is well written and deals with death and dying in a fresh way. Nevertheless, the moral tone and worldview are not Christian – sex, profanity, disrespect for authority are prevalent. But this is the world our children are exposed to, and books are effective tools for discussing these topics with our teenage children.
I do like school stories and this is one. Green gives a fairly accurate picture of how many young people behave once they are free from the oversight of their parents. Their choices, and the consequences of those choices, help to define their perspective on the world and where they fit into it.
I read Looking for Alaska because it has received awards and acclaim, but I don’t feel comfortable recommending it to parents of young people. Death and Dying is dealt with thematically in The Book Thief by Markus Zusak in a historical setting and I prefer it for junior and high school students.
(Spoiler) Looking for Alaska speaks specifically to the issue of suicide.
Green, John. Looking for Alaska. Dutton Children’s Books, 2018.
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2018.
Zusak, Markus, and Trudy White. The Book Thief. Knopf, 2013.
Claire. “10 Most Popular Literary Theme Examples • Writer’s Edit.” Writer’s Edit, Writer’s Edit, 2 July 2018, writersedit.com/fiction-writing/10-most-popular-literary-theme-examples/.