Bibliographic information: Will Grayson, Will Grayson. John Green and David Levithan. Speak, 2010. $17.99. 310p. ISBN-13: 978-0525421580.
Summary: Two boys with the same name are leading two different lives. One is best friends with Tiny Cooper, the biggest, most eccentric gay person around, and follows two simple rules: 1. Don’t care too much, 2. Shut up. These rules cause him to not be able to decide whether he likes Jane or not. The other Will is a loner who is chronically depressed and has a secret internet love, Isaac, that nobody knows about. He finally decides to meet Isaac in downtown Chicago where he instead runs into Will Grayson and their lives start to overlap with one another into the greatest high school musical in history.
Reading level and interest level: RL: 14 and up; IL: 12 and up
Review: Beautifully written from the view-points of each Will Grayson interchangeably from chapter to chapter. Each Will Grayson is his own character but their just happen to fall into one another. Green and Levithan have created a witty and humorous story that is sure to touch the hearts of their readers. They have produced wonderful characters that grow and learn throughout the tale. A fabulous set of back-up characters adds to the story and gives body to the plot. It turns out that Will Grayson, Will Grayson is not just about Will Graysons, but centers around Tiny Cooper who will uplift the readers spirits and make them want to break out in song and dance, because he’s just that kind of guy.
Readers’ annotation: Same name, chance meeting, an unlikely place… Will Grayson meets Will Grayson, and the course of their lives change.
Bibliotherapeutic usefulness: This is a wonderful book for GLBTQ persons. It is uplifting and lays positive light on the GLBTQ community. It shows that it is okay to who you are and you do not have to be embarrassed or ashamed of who you are. Every teenager goes through ups and downs when it comes to love, but sometimes you just have to go for it and chance the outcome. Sometimes there are good ones and sometimes there are bad ones, but at least you took a chance and tried something new. This books sends these messages.
Issues present: This book has GLBTQ materials as well as vulgar language that may be objectionable by adults. However, it could lend a helpful hand to some children who are experiencing pain from being a GLBTQ person. This book would show them that it is okay to be the way they are and there is nothing wrong with their choices. It paints a positive picture for gays and shows the ups and downs of love that every teen experiences. You can’t stop children from reading something that is true to reality.
Booktalk ideas: Introduce both Will Grayson in a compare and contrast.
Pg 22. first three sentences and last paragraph on pg 23 that ends on pg 24. – describes character well.
Pg 3. first two paragraphs – introduces Will and Tiny
Genre or subject: realistic fiction: GLBTQ, musical, humor, love relationships
Readalikes: Boy Meets Boy, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, Rainbow Boys, Kissing Kate, Alex Sanchez books, Gemini Bites
Author’s website: Levithan: http://www.davidlevithan.com; Green: http://www.sparksflyup.com & http://nerdfighters.com
Awards: Romantic Times (RT) Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2010), Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Honor (2011), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2010), Children’s Choice Book Award for Teen Choice Book of the Year (2011), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011) YALSA Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults (2011), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2013), Stonewall Award Honor Book (2011)
Reviews: School Library Journal: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6722896.html ; Booklist Review: http://www.booklistonline.com/Will-Grayson-Will-Grayson-/pid=4235778
Why I chose it: I had heard about Will Grayson in my LIBR 265 class and was told that it was really good, especially the audio book, so I decided I would add it to my list. Unfortunately my library does not have the audio book, so I had to stick with reading it, but it was still quite good.