Q:I read somewhere that the Colonel from Looking for Alaska is black. At least that was this forum's discussion. I do not have a problem with his skin color, but I've always imagined him as a white person. What about you?
Alaska and the Colonel are never identified by race in Looking for Alaska. (Nor is Pudge.) I don’t feel qualified to speak to matters outside the text.
Q:Team up with Taco Bell for the release of Looking for Alaska and make bufriedos a thing.
God that is such a terrible/wonderful idea. No one mention this to Taco Bell or Paramount or they will totally actually do it.
Q:I'm so gutted that looking for Alaska wont be made into a film! Why is that not happening?
It may! I don’t own the film rights to Looking for Alaska (Paramount bought the rights in 2005 and will own them forever), so it’s not my decision whether to make a film—or what kind of film to make.
In general, authors have very little say about such things. I didn’t do anything to make the TFIOS movie happen (or to make it good); I just got lucky. It’s not my movie. It’s Josh’s movie. There’s nothing I can do to force Paramount to make Looking for Alaska. And if they make it I’ll have very little control over whether it ends up being good.
Then again, one could argue—as movie studios have been arguing for decades—that movies don’t necessarily get better when authors have a lot of creative input, because authors may not know much about movies or how to make them good. I certainly don’t!
Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska Challenged
UPDATE: The school board has approved the book list with a 3-2 vote. The class will be offered as planned. Thank you to the 1,100+ people who wrote in and expressed their support for the teachers at Strasburg High School, to The American Library Association and The National Council of Teachers of English, and above all to the teachers and principal at Strasburg High School.
Earlier today I received an email from a high school English teacher in Strasburg, Colorado who plans to teach an elective Young Adult literature course. A group of parents created a petition to “cleanse” the book list, claiming that the majority of the books on the curriculum, “are profane, pornographic, violent, criminal, crass, crude, vile, and will result in the irreparable erosion of my students’ moral character.”
Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska have been targeted in particular, and the press attended the most recent school board meeting. The motion has been tabled for the next meeting at 7:00 pm on April 16th at Strasburg High School: 56729 e. Colorado Ave, Strasburg, CO 80136.
Please join me in emailing letters of support of the teacher at Strasburg who has heroically stood by her curriculum and stood alone at School Board meetings defending the books. It’s important to keep your letter as civil as possible, even if this kind of thing turns you into a giant squid of anger.
Letters should be addressed "To the School Board" and emailed to StrasburgYALiteratureCourse@gmail.com. It would also be a great help to attend the next School Board meeting if you live in the area.
I am extremely grateful to those who have come out in support of my books on the various occasions they have been challenged, who understand that I am not out to corrupt teenagers, and who further understand the importance of reading books critically and thoughtfully as a whole, rather than focusing on individual scenes ripped from their context. Thanks for supporting my books, and thanks for being awesome.
Full proposed curriculum below the jump.
Here are some John Green book collages that I made! I hope y’all like them! I’m super excited to announce that…
ALL THE DESIGNS ARE FOR SALE AT DFTBA RECORDS!!! AAAAH!
BONUS! The lovely people at DFTBA Records are giving a $10 discount when you buy all five together! So, buy 4, get 1 freeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Let me know which one is your favourite!
P.S See if you can spot all the items from Margo’s List in the Paper Towns design! There are; 3 catfish, 6 mountain dews, tissues, veet, a dozen tulips, a bottle of water, a can of blue spray paint and some vaseline hidden in the poster!
And another huge thank you to John, Hank, Alan and everyone at DFTBA Records for making this all happen. I can’t stop squealing!
I love these so much. Get ‘em here.
Between now and Monday, every order at dftba.com will ship worldwide for $3, no matter where you live and no matter how much you order.
Above you’ll find things related to my books available at DFTBA:
A poster designed by Lala Vicencio, Mei Lee’s Mother***ing Fox shirt, Mei Lee posters, a poster designed by nerdfighters Ashild and Nica, a poster designed by Yasmin Rahman, the special edition TFIOS audiobook narrated by me, and an iPhone case.
Oh my god my roommate is reading Looking for Alaska and she just said out loud, “Oh my gosh it’s 1 day before I’m so excited to find out what it’s before!” Really enthusiastically. Poor girl.
Looking for Alaska Challenged at Fort Lupton High School
It’s always really cool to hear about schools that use any of my books in their classrooms, so I was thrilled to hear that the teachers at Fort Lupton High School in Colorado chose to teach my first book, Looking for Alaska, to their 9th grade English classes. Unfortunately, a group of parents have called for Looking for Alaska to be removed from the curriculum at Fort Lupton because they have a problem with the blowjob scene and alcohol consumption in the novel.
This is not the first time Looking for Alaska has been challenged, nor, I suspect, will it be the last.
If you would like to add your voice of support to the teachers and librarians at Fort Lupton Middle School and High School who are heroically standing by their choice to include Looking for Alaska in their English curriculum, please write a letter addressed to “District Personnel and Community Members” and send it to the following address:
Fort Lupton Middle School
201 South McKinley Ave
Fort Lupton, CO
It’s important to keep your letter as civil and polite as you can, even if such challenges do transfigurate you into a giant squid of anger.
I am extremely grateful to all of the teachers and librarians at Fort Lupton who have come out in support of Looking for Alaska, who understand that I am not out to corrupt teenagers, and who further understand the importance of reading books critically and thoughtfully as a whole, rather than focusing on individual scenes ripped from their context.
Thanks for supporting Looking for Alaska and thanks for being awesome.
Lots of people have emailed/tweeted/tumblr asked me today about birthday presents, which is very nice of you and thank you so much.
The nerdfighter group at kiva.org is nearing THREE MILLION DOLLARS in loans, and you can join them today. Your first loan is free, in fact. (Well, it is paid for by an anonymous rich person.) And the person who invited you gets to make a free loan. No strings attached. It’s pretty awesome.
Thanks again for the birthday wishes.
From: John Green [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 2:50 PM
To: Strauss-Gabel, Julie
Subject: Looking for Alaska
Thanks again for the phone call. It was wonderful to make your
acquaintance. I’ve attached a copy of LOOKING FOR ALASKA (for what it’s worth, I don’t know about the title. I am partial to lengthy,
full-sentence titles, like, EVERYTHING TOGETHER FALLS APART, but I understand that such titles have limited teen appeal, so I went with
Looking for Alaska).
I’m really excited to be working with you.
Thanks, and take care,
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the first email I ever sent to Julie Strauss-Gabel, who has been my editor ever since.
We’d just talked on the phone for the first time, discussing Alaska and how to begin the process of wrangling it into a published book.
In the past ten years, Julie has become one of my closest friends and, after a series of promotions, is now my publisher as well. But a lot hasn’t changed. I still fret a lot over titles, for instance, and still have to be dissuaded from full-sentence titles (although not because they lack “teen appeal,” whatever the hell that is). And I’m still really excited to be working with Julie.
It’s impossible for me to imagine my books without her. Julie’s imprint is on every page I’ve ever published, from the labyrinth in Looking for Alaska to Hazel and Gus’s visit to the Anne Frank House.
It’s rare these days in publishing for an author to stay with one publisher for so many years, and rarer still for an editor to stay in one job. We’ve both been extremely lucky, and I’m deeply grateful for Julie’s loyalty to me and belief in my work.
After tomorrow, we’ll only have one color available, so if you like choice, today’s the day.