Book: Will Grayson, Will Grayson written by: John Green and David Levithan. Published: New York, New York, Peguin Group 2010.
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Young Adults
Age Group: Grades 8-12 and up
Summary: Will Grayson, Will Grayson is about these two young boys in Highschool, one trying to get by in the world unnoticed, the other coming out gay and trying to figure out what he wants in life. The first Will Grayson uses uppercase lettering and is the odd chapters he is best friends with Tiny, a really large gay, football player. He lives life by two rules. First Rule Don’t Care too Much and second, Shut Up. The second Will Grayson is lowercase and he is a homosexual and tries to find his place and doesn’t really get a long with his family and comes from a different world fromt he other Will Grayson.
Themes: There are some really nice themes/ideas to teach young adults with this book. The first would be, Diversity. With one of the Will Grayson’s being gay and Tiny being the unstereotypical gay, male we could use them as examples of different types of diversity. They are identical in someways with the fact they are both males and are homosexual and yet different from society and it’s norms with the fact that they are in fact homosexual. It is never to early to start teaching acceptance of other individuals no matter if they are gay or straight, big or small. The other reason I choose diversity is the fact that Tiny is not the stereotypical gay male. Tiny is a football player and chooses to do “manly things.” Therefore Tiny breaks stereotypical ground and is trying to be accepted.
The second theme we could teach our Young readers would be self-identity finding who you are and your self worth. Both Will Grayson’s struggled with the fact that they both had this attitude of not really caring and tried to keep under the radar when really they should have been trying to find out who they were. Especially lowercase Will Grayson he is going through the process of being gay in highschool where you already have society’s pressure to be the stereotypical teenager and having to deal with somehting that’s not at this age easy to comprehend was difficult for him. Also we should be teaching our students that it is important to be who you want to be. Uppercase Will Grayson didn’t care what people thought of him he had his two rules: 1. Don’t care too much and 2. Shut up.
Connections: This book can be compared to the book Speak by Laurie Halse-Anderson because in that book the main character goes through depression and tries to go through highschool much like the first Will Grayson under the radar. The character in Speak is also relatable to Will Grayson Will Grayson because they both teach you about being your own person and not conforming and both characters do that they live by their own standards. I found it inspiring.
Reactions: I loved this book. I loved the fact that it was told from two different perspectives who were similar and yet had different personalities and ways of living. I also enjoyed the other characters besides the Will Grayson’s I enjoyed Tiny. I thought Tiny gave a fresh set of viewpoints in the story and kept it interesting with his quarky remarks and outlook on life. I also like how stereotypes were broken and Everyone’s character is not stereotypical in appearence or actions. Lowercase Will Grayson is gay and yet he is not the stereotypical flamboiant gay guy. I found this book to be refreshing and really relateable.
Reception: Wow! What did I just finish reading? I don’t know whether to cringe, cry, walk away baffled, or sing from the top of the mountain in a musical-esque crescendo BRILLIANT! The writing was refreshing, edgy, raw, and offensive at times but never off the mark. (Arlene, March 15,2010) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6567017-will-grayson-will-grayson
4 1/2 stars. Excellent, hilarious (in a many times over laugh out loud kind of way), and thought-provoking story about friendship. I love both Will Graysons and Tiny Cooper. I had the pleasure of finally allowing myself to finish this while flying home from seeing my cousin/friend. Not likely that this will leave my 2010 favorites shelf. There are not many books that I was this excited about in 2010. (Elissa, January 29,2010)