An Abundance of Katherines

What a treat!  I have just read two humorous books about teen boys that I would recommend to any teen boy who is willing to pick up a book (and the teen girls too!)

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

This is the second book by the winner of the Printz Medal for Looking for Alaska.  I know that he won the Printz for that book, but I enjoyed his second one even more.  I always appreciate books for teens that have a great sense of humor, because it is that humor that will get kids through those years of angst and hormones. 

Colin has just been dumped by the 19th girl named Katherine he has dated.  He feels like a piece of himself has gone missing and that he has no idea how to find it.  His best friend, Hassan, forces Colin on a road trip to help take his mind off of his depression.  They find themselves in Gutshot, Tennessee visiting the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  Why?  Because Colin is a child-prodigy who enjoys collecting facts.  But he considers himself a failed prodigy because he has yet to do anything remarkable.  The two boys discover much more than a monument in Gutshot in this funny novel filled with swearing in several languages, fascinating factoids in footnotes, and a theorem that just may predict if relationships will thrive or fail. 

Green’s humor will have you laughing outloud.  Truly.  The wild pig hunting scene had me doubled over laughing as I tried to continue to read, only to start guffawing again.  To pay it the ultimate compliment, it rivaled Gary Paulsen’s Harris and Me.  Thoughout the book readers will find little gems of humor that beg to be read aloud and shared.  I think this will be the type of book passed from one teen to the other just to enjoy a good laugh together. 

Even better, the book is not just funny, but also has insights into being popular, accepting your own strangeness, and realizing that to be different does not mean that you are alone.   This is a book for all real teens out there.  It will speak to them and they will see themselves somewhere in the pages looking back.  Simply great.