Monday, January 16, 2017

Guest Blogger Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is the story of two seventeen-year-old boys who live in the suburbs of Chicago and also happen to have the same name. Although the boys are very different, their paths cross under very unusual circumstances. What starts out as an unlikely friendship ends in a high school musical that defines their friendship and reflects a deeper understanding of their differences.

John Green writes as Will Grayson, the straight teen who has a best friend named Tiny Cooper.

David Levithan writes as will (lowercase to distinguish from the ‘other’ Will) Grayson, a gay teen struggling with many issues – his sexuality, depression, online dating, and friendships.

Published in 2010, Will Grayson, Will Grayson was honored with the Stonewell Book Award and the Odyssey Award. It is significant to note that Will Grayson, Will Grayson was the first book starring gay characters to ever appear on The New York Times children’s bestsellers list.
“When I was little, my dad used to tell me, "Will, you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." This seemed like a reasonably astute observation to me when I was eight, but it turns out to be incorrect on a few levels. To begin with, you cannot possibly pick your friends, or else I never would have ended up with Tiny Cooper.

Tiny Cooper is not the world's gayest person, and he is not the world's largest person, but I believe he may be the world's largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large. Tiny has been my best friend since fifth grade, except for all last semester, when he was busy discovering the sheer scope of his own gayness.”

Will Grayson
So, how does Will end up picking Tiny’s nose? How do the two teens with the same name end up in the same Chicago porn shop? How does will end up dating Will's best friend, Tiny? Does will come to terms with his sexual identity?

The answers to these questions – and so much more – can be learned by reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

If, in the process of doing so, you happen to fall in love with the character of Tiny Cooper, David Levithan has written a companion book featuring Tiny Cooper called Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story.

Other titles by David Levithan include: Boy Meets Boy, Wide Awake, Every Day, Two Boys Kissing, Another Day, and many more.

Bonus Fun Fact: At age 19, David Levithan worked as an intern for Scholastic on The Baby-sitters Club series. He is still an editorial director for them today. In 2005, he co-edited Friends: Stories about New Friends, Old Friends and Unexpectedly True Friends with Ann Martin.

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