Great new text for grades 9/10

The Fault in our Stars

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

John Green on interpreting novels:

Q. Is there a reason you choose to say “books belong to their readers,” rather than tie up loose ends outside of the book? J.K. Rowling recently came out with a statement about the futures of all of her characters; do you expand on your characters in that sense?
A. I don’t think it’s the author’s place to tell readers what happens to characters outside the text of a novel, because I don’t think the characters (in an extra-textual way, at least) belong to the writer. An author can talk about his/her own reading of the story, or her intentions, but his/her “opinion” on extra-textual matters is irrelevant.
(So I would argue that J. K. Rowling saying that Dumbledore was gay does not make Dumbledore any more or less gay than he already was. It’s easy to read the novels thinking Dumbledore is gay; I suppose it’s also possible to read the novels thinking he isn’t. But all that matters is the text. The only authoritative source for the Harry Potter novels is the text of the Harry Potter novels, and if J. K. Rowling announced tomorrow that Hermione was actually a Jedi Knight who time-traveled to Hogwarts from the Star Wars universe, it would not in any way change the novels or Hermione.)
I realize that many of you disagree with me about this, and that’s fine. Together, we decide what books are, how to read them, and whose voice counts. But I’ve thought pretty hard about this stuff for a fairly long time, and you’re very unlikely to convince me to “reveal” something, particularly something that I literally do not think can be revealed.


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