October 26, 2015

#CanLitChoices: Alternatives to The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
Dutton Books for Young Readers
336 pp.
Ages 14-17
Rl lexile 850
RL 5.5

The Fault in Our Stars, winner of the Teen Book of the Year by the Children's Choice Book Awards and the basis for a critically-acclaimed film, is a favourite novel read by teens across Canada and the U.S. The story focuses on the romance between Hazel, a cancer patient, and Augustus, a teen who lost his leg to osteosarcoma, who meet at a support group and bond over books, falling in love.

Themes upon which teachers focus lessons include the following:

But we have a plethora of youngCanLit that can fill the same novel study bill and, of course, I would like to promote them here.  Each one of these deals with the same themes but in different ways and are all the better for the variety of storylines covered.

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Before We Go
by Amy Bright
Red Deer Press
222 pp.
Ages 12+
Reviewed here

After visiting her dying grandmother in the hospital, Emily meets another teen Alex and his sister who too are dealing with death.

Crush. Candy. Corpse
by Sylvia McNicoll
219 pp.
Ages 12+
Reviewed here

While volunteering at a long-term care facility, Sunny meets Cole and his grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer's.

The Death of Us
by Alice Kuipers
HarperTrophy Canada
216 pp.
Ages 13+
Reviewed here

Callie's reunion with former friend Ivy brings a summer of boys and, sadly, death.

Dying to go Viral
by Sylvia McNicoll
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
251 pp.
Ages 12+
Reviewed here

Jade's death in a skateboarding accident brings her back for one week to try to make things right for all.

My Beating Teenage Heart
by C. K. Kelly Martin
Random House
288 pp.
Ages 13+
Reviewed here

Ashlyn tries to piece together why her body-less self is watching teen Breckon who is dealing with the death of his younger sister.

The World Without Us
by Robin Stevenson
Orca Book Publishers
226 pp.
Ages 12-16
Reviewed here

Though Jeremy and Melody make a pact to jump from a bridge, Melody chooses not to do so and is left behind to deal with that choice.

In each of the above books, the protagonist must deal with a death or imminent death of someone significant–a friend, a sibling, a grandparent, herself!–and must deal with that grief with someone to whom they are emotionally drawn. There is grief, romance, guilt and fear. What else does a book alternative to The Fault in Our Stars need? Absolutely nothing!

Leave comments if you have any other suggestions for The Fault in Our Stars alternatives or to select an age-old novel that needs refreshing with #CanLitChoices.

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