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John Green's books deal with the 'big issues' of life while still often managing to be funny and clever. Plus...he's not condescending to his (mostly) YA readers. Consider reading one of his books, or one of these read-alikes!
An Abundance of Katherines and Read-alikes
An Abundance of Katherines by
ISBN: 9780142410707, 272 pages
Publication Date: 2008-10-16
Always being dumped by girls named Katherine, Colin Singleton, a washed-up child prodigy with a Judge-Judy obsessed best friend, embarks on a quest to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will impact all of his future relationships and change his life.
Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by
ISBN: 9780062293725, 272 pages
Publication Date: 2016-10-11
Three teenagers. One road trip. Countless detours. When Mia first waltzed into Homer's small corner of Florida, she changed Homer's entire world. It wasn't long before he was hopelessly in love. But now Mia is moving away--and Homer and his younger brother, Einstein, are helping her drive hundreds of miles to her new home. This might be Homer's last chance to tell Mia how he really feels. And with so many detours in front of them, anything could happen.
Dairy Queen by
ISBN: 9780618863358, 304 pages
Publication Date: 2007-06-04
After her father is injured, 15-year-old D.J. Schwenk takes over the lion's share of work on her family's small Wisconsin dairy farm. Between farm chores, this erstwhile jock takes on training Brian, the rival high school's quarterback. teaching the meaning of hard work to a smart but lazy quarterback (while he teaches her how to communicate.) D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, and wins a place as a defensive linebacker, which means she'll face Brian on the field. It’s Romeo and Juliet with cows!
The White Darkness by
ISBN: 9780060890353, 400 pages
Fourteen-year-old, hearing-impaired, and bespectacled Symone accompanies her brilliant Uncle Victor on a journey to Antarctica, where her uncle pursues a mad plan to disprove a fellow scientist's Hollow Earth theory. Symone must discover her own way through the lies swirling around her like white snow. As fellow travelers begin to fall sick and die, Symone's hope and comfort is found in the romantic ghost of a polar explorer named Titus.
The Fault in Our Stars and Read-alikes
The Fault in Our Stars by
ISBN: 9780142424179, 352 pages
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
"It's not fair," complains 16-year-old Hazel from Indiana. "The world," says Gus, her new friend from her teen support group, "is not a wish-granting factory." Indeed, life is not fair; Hazel and Gus both have cancer, Hazel's terminal. Despite this, she has a burning obsession: to find out what happens to the characters after the end of her favorite novel. The Fault in Our Stars is smart, witty, profoundly sad, and full of questions worth asking, even those like "Why me?" that have no answer.
Eleanor and Park by
ISBN: 9781250012579, 352 pages
Follows the year-long, star-crossed romance between two 1980s high school misfits whose intelligence tells them that first loves almost never last but whose feelings prevent them from remaining as practical. "Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book."-John Green.
The Probability of Miracles by
ISBN: 9781595144805, 336 pages
Publication Date: 2012-07-05
High school senior Cam has been battling cancer for seven years and learns during spring semester that there is nothing left to do—no treatment is going to help. So her miracle-seeking mother moves Cam and her family 1,500 miles north to Promise, Maine-- a place where amazing, unexplainable events are said to occur. And when a mysterious envelope arrives, containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies, she finally learns to believe--in love, in herself . . . and maybe even in miracles, as improbable as they may seem.
See You at Harry's by
ISBN: 9780763654078, 320 pages
Fern often feels invisible in her bustling family. Because of the restaurant her parents run, her teenage sister's angst, her gay older brother's struggle with bullies, and the incessant cuteness of her little brother, Charlie, there isn't a lot of attention left for a quiet, literary sixth grader. Things become nearly unbearable when Fern blames herself for a tragic accident that rocks the family to its core.
Looking for Alaska and Read-alikes
Looking for Alaska by
ISBN: 9780593109069, 272 pages
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash.
All-American Muslim Girl by
ISBN: 9780374309527, 432 pages
From her looks, people don't suspect Allie is anything but an ""all -American "" (that is, white) girl. But when her family settles in Providence, Georgia, the Islamophobia she has until then only witnessed from a distance forces her to find the strength to tell her friends and boyfriend—whose dad is a fearmongering, xenophobic cable newscaster—that her family is Muslim . The road to claiming her religion through study is rife with bigotry but also rich with support.
Bridge of Clay by
ISBN: 9781984830159, 560 pages
Publication Date: 2018-10-09
In this epic tale by Zusak (The Book Thief), we meet the Dunbar boys: narrator Matthew; wild Rory; bridge builder Clay; Henry, the entrepreneur; and Tommy, the animal lover. After having left the boys on their own, their father, Michael, returns to ask for their help in building a bridge across a river. Only Clay rises to the challenge. Invoking the Iliad and the Odyssey, the story takes on big themes such as love, death, sin, abandonment, and redemption.
Marcelo in the Real World by
ISBN: 9780545054744, 320 pages
Ordered by his father to work in the mailroom of his law firm to get exposure to the real world, Marcelo knows that he must find a way to cope with his form of Asperger's Syndrome in order to prove himself, but then a series of events involving his father's partner and a matter of injustice comes to light. It's a picture he finds in a file -- a picture of a girl with half a face -- that truly connects him with the real world: its suffering, its injustice, and what he can do to fight.
Paper Towns and Read-alikes
Paper Towns by
ISBN: 9780142414934, 336 pages
Publication Date: 2009-09-22
ne month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.
The Beginning of Everything: Everyone Gets a Tragedy by
ISBN: 9780062217141, 352 pages
Publication Date: 2014-07-29
In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters golden boy Ezra Faulkner’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life. No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. As Ezra dives into his new studies and new friendships he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread.
Picture Me Gone by
ISBN: 9780147512260, 256 pages
Publication Date: 2014-10-21
Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room, sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her fathers best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. The mission is more complicated than Mila expects, with clues not quite adding up and disturbing secrets unveiled, including the realization that her father hasn’t been entirely honest.
We Were Liars by
ISBN: 9780385741262, 320 pages
An unspecified accident that happened during Cady’s fifteenth summer on her family's private island has left her with debilitating migraines and memory loss. Now it’s her seventeenth summer, and she’s returned to the island. What follows is a taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation. The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with.