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Lisa Ann Sandell, our current Author-in-Residence, will be hanging out with us now through the end of August 2010. Look for posts from Lisa to appear at the readergirlz blog throughout her visit. Learn more about Lisa Ann Sandell and our author-in-residence position.




Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Quentin arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Quentin soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Quentin sees of the girl he thought he knew.

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2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel

New York Times Bestseller

"Green's prose is astounding - from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it - exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects - page after page." - School Library Journal, starred review

"Deliciously intelligent dialogue and plenty of mind-twisting insights." - VOYA

"[Green is] clever and wonderfully witty...he's a superb stylist, with a voice perfectly matched to his amusing, illuminating material." - Booklist, starred review


John Green


Things to Know

John Green

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On the nightstand: No nightstand, just a pile of books!

Favorite drink while you write: Americano (espresso & water)

Favorite bookstores: The Book Cellar

Favorite library: Chicago Public Library

Pets: Willy, my Yorkshire Terrier

Place to write: Local coffeeshop; my house

Inspiration: My readers

Dream book tour: I love touring in the Netherlands

Writer buddies: Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, David Levithan

Cure for writer's block: Giving myself permission to write poorly!

Favorite outfit: Jeans and a T-shirt

Laptop or longhand? Laptop; I have terrible handwriting.

Stilettos or Uggs? Are sneakers an option?

Author idol: J.D. Salinger

Next up: Another book, God willing.

Other YA Novels: Looking for Alaska; An Abundance of Katherines; and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan)

Exclusive Video Interview:

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Website: http://www.sparksflyup.com

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Discuss the book with the author himself. Join us at Twitter #rgz on Wednesday, June 16th at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST to chat live with John Green. The chat will last for one hour.


National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's mission is, in their own words, "to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them."

The NCMEC, which has been operating since 1984, relies on volunteers. If you are interested in being a volunteer or an intern at one of their local branches or at their national headquarters in Virginia, please click here to learn more about such opportunities.

Their website http://www.missingkids.com and toll-free tipline 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have any information regarding a missing or exploited child, whether it is a recent and ongoing related investigation or a cold case, please contact the NCMEC. Your assistance could help save a life.


The following tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany his book.

1. Another White Dash, Butterfly Boucher
2. My Paper Heart, All-American Rejects
3. Best Imitation of Myself, Ben Folds Five
4. Gone for Good, The Shins
5. Set the Fire to the Third Bar, Snow Patrol
6. Alabama, John Coltrane Quintet
7. This Year, The Mountain Goats
8. Black Santas, Lauren Fairweather
9. Up the Wolves, The Mountain Goats
10. Holland 1945, Neutral Milk Hotel



Discuss the following questions (and more!) with other readers at the readergirlz blog.

1. When Margo and Quentin are nine they make a horrible discovery, and respond in very different ways. How do you think this shaped their lives in the years to come? How would you have responded?

2. Q's parents describe people as "mirrors" and "windows" (page 198). What does this mean? Can you relate either of these metaphors to anyone in your life?

3. Why do you think Margo picks Q as her accomplice on her campaign of revenge? Whom would you choose?

4. Do you think the characters Margo targets for revenge get what they deserve? Does Lacey deserve to be included?

5. Do you think Margo wants to be found? Do you think Margo wants to be found by Q?

6. Radar says, "Coltrane's playing is literally the most convincing proof of God's existence I've ever come across" (p. 112). What music would be this important to you?

7. The Paper Towns hardcover was released with two different covers. What does each version say about Margo? Do you think either one is "correct"?

8. Do you think that Margo meant to give her friends a false impression of herself?

9. Describe Q's best friends. If you had to choose one of these characters as your best friend, who would you pick? Why?

10. If you were in Q's position, would you look for Margo or let her go, like her parents did? Why?

11. Discuss the scene where Q finally finds Margo. How does her reaction to seeing her friends make you feel?

12. Why do you think Q makes the decision he does at the end of the book? Do you agree with his decision regarding the invitation?



Planning your own book group get-together? Here are some party ideas from the author.

Invite: A coded message

Décor: A dozen tulips, maps, mirrors

Food: Gas station snacks, a la road tripping

Project: Scavenger hunt




Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, and E. Lockhart

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Walden by Henry David Thoreau



The Gallagher Girls books by Ally Carter




Read ahead! Get ready for our upcoming book discussions:

July: The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter

August: Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala

September: Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

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