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Looking for Alaska This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Peter Jenkins’ Looking for Alaska is magnificent. As you can guess from the title, it is about Alaska, every possible aspect of it, from a thrill-seeking surfer to the hermits who live in the wilderness. Even the frozen villages of native Alaskans are here.

My favorite part is the Seward police log that is published in the daily paper. If you do something bad, whether it’s missing a loan payment or streaking down the road and putting imprints of various body parts in a fresh slab of concrete, there is a strong chance of heavy fines and seeing your name in print.

The book reveals the great diversity of Alaska and its residents. The “Bingo Anger” chapter shows a weird side of this diversity. One village has a bachelor auction that isn’t pretty, but is pretty funny. It began decades ago to give the few single women a chance to meet men and raise money for charity, even if it means the men have to walk down a runway in a bar.

Jenkins’ style is very descriptive. When on a kayaking adventure with his daughter, you can practically feel the breeze and see the glaciers above the dark sea. You can almost smell the humpback whale’s breath when it gets close. You can see the mountains, the stars, the Northern Lights, the great brown mound of a bull moose laying on the road. He uses great imagery.

Jenkins moved to Alaska from Tennessee and lived there for a year and a half, traveling all over the state and talking to people, asking them to show him their daily lives, homes, and the necessary changes they must make for the winter. He shows us Alaska through the eyes of a resident, not tourists in their car staring at a bear.

Looking for Alaska is not just about the rugged terrain and the amazing wildlife, it’s about the people. It’s about Eva Ryan, the Alaskan Hunter of the Year who can make a mean plate of spaghetti and moose meatballs. It’s about Andy Johnson, the crazy surfer in Cordova. It’s about all the people who make Alaska fun.

Now for a bit of criticism. This book is quite long, with too much narration and too little dialogue, and parts of it feel too much like an essay.

These points aside, this book has received critical acclaim and I enjoyed most of it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Babygirl4141 said...
yesterday at 2:24 pm
Looking for Alaska.  This book has a before part where a girl steals a boy heart and then come the after part where nothing is ever the same. This book is like a romantic book  at the beginning then there come the after part which made me mad and kind of upset where more a less where I wanted to cry but it was a goods and also a bad thing. But this book is really good and if you are one of those people who like a interesting book then this is the book for you! I think the proposed of t... (more »)
 
Amna.T. said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 9:38 am
you compleatly confusedd, me
LOOKING FOR ALASKA BY JOHN GREEN
 
Ms G said...
Nov. 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm
This is the wrong book! Looking for Alaska is written by John Greene and is about a girl named Alaska--not the setting of the state.
 
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