When Miles Halter’s parents decide to throw him a going away party before he leaves for boarding school it becomes clear on how little of a social life he has. Practically no one shows at the party and Miles is not as surprised as his parents are. Miles is leaving Florida to head to Culver Creek Preparatory High School in Alabama for his junior year of high school. He explains to his parents that he is going to Culver Creek to “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” His dad is proud of him because he father also attended Culver Creek. When Miles arrives at Culver Creek he meets his roommate Chip or “The Colonel.” Because Miles is so skinny and talk he names him an ironic nickname, “Pudge.” Through The Colonel Miles is introduced to Alaska Young, whom he is instantly intrigued by. Alaska is unlike any other girl he has known, she is attractive, outspoken and at the same time emotionally unstable. Pudge becomes the target of a prank which leads to a full out prank war. Alaska and Pudge engage in a short relationship and soon after Alaska frantically awakes Pudge. Pudge and The Colonel help Alaska escape Culver Creek to a place not known to them. In the “After” part of this book Pudge and Colonel find out that helping Alaska caused her death. While mourning her death they try hard to find out what has happened.
Age Group: Young Adult
Language Arts: symbolism, character relationships, character development, connections to other texts (Catcher in the Rye)
Social Skills: drugs, alcohol, sex, parent/child relationships”