105 Ways to Give a Book

John, Call Your Mother...Reader

Clever and talented Fuse#8 has just scored an interview with John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. The interview is wonderful, interesting, and insightful. The interviewee is a Hot Man of Children’s Literature and — I hope I can I say this without it being creepy — is totally deserving of such an honor.

John Green is doing an interview tour of the blogging world. But since I didn’t get the “Friends of John Green” email, I can only assume I am not on the tour. Sigh.

Now some would say that by not reading the book, I have left myself out of the interview running. But I beg to differ. Here are some sample questions I would pose for Mr. Green.
MotherReader: I haven’t read the book An Abundance of Katherines, but having seen the cover, I can guess what it’s about. Trust me, I’m really good at this. A boy, Darren, is a time traveler currently living in the early seventies. Frustrated that he isn’t seeing enough of his girlfriend Katherine, he travels to the year 2045 and brings back a cloning machine. He proceeds to clone his girlfriend so he can see more of her, but it quickly spins out of control with hysterical consequences. Is that pretty close?

MotherReader: How much s*e*x is in the book? Because many of my readers don’t like sex. I mean, in their books. They might like sex perfectly well in their private lives. And they might like it in their romance novels. Or online porn. What I’m really asking is, does the content make this book more appropriate for high school or middle school?

MotherReader: One last question. Mo Willems. Great illustrator/writer or the greatest illustrator/writer?
See, I would have totally nailed it.

5 comments:

web said...

you wuz robbed!

Anonymous said...

Nice Colbert reference with Mo Willems.

-Suz

Kelly said...

Man, you make me laugh, MR. Thanks :)

John Green said...

Your sample questions answered:


MotherReader: I haven’t read the book An Abundance of Katherines, but having seen the cover, I can guess what’s it’s about. Trust me, I’m really good at this. A boy, Darren, is a time traveler currently living in the early seventies. Frustrated that he isn’t seeing enough of his girlfriend Katherine, he travels to the year 2045 and brings back a cloning machine. He proceeds to clone his girlfriend so he can see more of her, but it quickly spins out of control with hysterical consequences. Is that pretty close?

John Green: There are some hysterical consequences. But that's about the only connection. It's about a former child prodigy who, having been dumped for the 19th time by a girl named Katherine, sets off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. They end up in a little town called Gutshot, Tennessee, where they more or less try to figure out what if anything matters.

MotherReader: How much s*e*x is in the book? Because many of my readers don’t like sex. I mean, in their books. They might like sex perfectly well in their private lives. And they might like it in their romance novels. Or online porn. What I’m really asking is, does the content make this book more appropriate for high school or middle school?

John Green: It's definitely a YA novel, in the same sense that "Alaska" is a YA novel. There's not much material that _inappropriate_ for middle schoolers, but the language might be a little sophisticated for them (I mean that there is some Latin, not that there is some cursing. Middle schoolers are already familiar with most of the major curse words; I don't mind them reading books with swears in them.) So yeah. There is not much sex in "Katherines," although there are some subtle digs at the sex-and-profanity-obsessed state of YA lit these days.

But I'm not sure how important sex is in the scheme of things, or in the scheme of audience-defining a book. There is not much explicit sex in the gossip girl books either, though, and I am profoundly concerned that middle schoolers read that shit.

MotherReader: One last question. Mo Willems. Great illustrator/writer or the greatest illustrator/writer?

Let me first echo the kudos on the Colbert reference. And let me second say: Great, I think. I mean, are we talking about greatest ever or greatest contemporary? I don't think you can make a very strong case for greatest ever, but you can make a good case for greatest contemporary. My heart, however, is with Kevin Henkes. But Mo is brilliant. There's no doubt about that.

Little Willow said...

Colbert reference AND John Green input . . . Oh, good times.