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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Age Level: 12-14

Buy Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

About the Book

In the suburbs of Chicago, two teens named Will Grayson — one gay, one straight — have lived their lives completely unaware of the other's existence. But that changes one fateful night when their worlds collide. Their lives begin to intertwine and each Will Grayson begins to question who he really is. Their discoveries take them in unexpected directions, building towards romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of an oh-so-fabulous high school musical.

About the Authors

John Green is the celebrated author of Printz-medalist, Looking for Alaska, and the Printz Honor Book, An Abundance of Katherines. Both books have been finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, received many starred reviews, and been placed on numerous state award lists. John's work has been translated into eleven languages.

He has been a commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and reviewed books for publications, including The New York Times and Booklist. John was also one half (with his brother, Hank) of the enormously popular video project Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 10 million times. Although John grew up amid the subdivisions and theme parks of Orlando, he now lives with his wife, Sarah, in Indiana. You can visit him online at sparksflyup.com or at nerdfighters.com.

David Levithan is an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens, including Wide Awake and Love Is the Higher Law. David's other collaborative work, with Rachel Cohn, includes Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List.

Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility started as stories he wrote for his friends for Valentine's Day (something he's done for the past sixteen years) and turned themselves into teen novels. He is also an Editorial Director and Vice President at Scholastic, where he founded their Push imprint. David Levithan lives in New Jersey. Visit him online at davidlevithan.com.

Reprinted with permission from Penguin Books.

Possible Discussion Questions

  • In what ways is Will Grayson's life similar to will grayson's? How are they different? How does the style of the odd vs even chapters work to help us understand both Will and will as individuals? Do you think one has a significantly easier life? Explain your answer.
  • Consider Will and will's encounter at Frenchy's; how does this accidental meeting serve as a catalyst for change in each of their lives? Offer specific examples from the text to support your statements.
  • Will Grayson states, "You cannot possibly pick your friends, or else I never would have ended up with Tiny Cooper." (p. 3) What is it about his relationship with Tiny that he finds so difficult? Do you think he's right to feel this way? Consider your own friendships — have you ever had a friend that you felt required an extra effort on your part to remain friends?
  • Will Grayson chose to defend Tiny's right to play football regardless of his sexual orientation, but is later regretful of his decision. Why do you think he has changed his mind about coming to Tiny's defense?
  • Will shares with readers that emotion is easy to resist "if you follow two simple rules: 1. Don't care too much. 2. Shut up." (p. 5) What can readers infer about Will from this statement? Do you think this is sage advice? Why or why not?
  • From your experience, do you think it's difficult for most people to reach out for help? Consider the characters in the novel; who do they turn to for assistance? To whom do you turn when you are in need?
  • Why is will's relationship with Isaac so important to him? What does learning the truth about who Isaac really is force will to do?
  • Beyond his size, what is it about Tiny's presence that makes will feel not so alone? Why is it so important that will befriends Tiny when he does?
  • Fear both motivates and incapacitates many of the characters in the novel. Consider how characters deal with their fears. Do they acknowledge them? Are they able to turn to others for help? Who are the people you seek out to help you when you're afraid?
  • Why is will and Will's final gift to Tiny so important? what does this act signify about Will Grayson's understanding of friendship?

Extension Activities

  • Tiny's final musical production contains scenes that portray important events and relationships in his life. Have teens consider watershed events in their personal lives and create an original story to share as a live or filmed presentation with a trailer of the performance posted on Youtube.com or Teachertube.com. Have them write a script, a cast, choose costumes and props, and utilize the royalty free music library, Soundzabound (www.soundzabound.com), and presentation software programs. Consider organizing a "Night at the Movies" and invite students to come together to watch and share their trailers.
  • Music is used throughout the novel as a way to connect the characters with each other and the world at large. Select a favorite character from Will Grayson, Will Grayson and create a CD with an original playlist which is representative of the experiences that character undergoes throughout the novel. Create original art for the jewel case and on the interior, and after including appropriate artist information, offer an explanation for the selection of each song.
  • Character Karaoke (AKA: Character Theme Songs): In small groups, have teens select any significant character from the novel. Based on what they know about the character from the chapters they've read, they should write original song lyrics to an existing song expressing the character's individual personality, actions, goals, etc.

Additional Books

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska

Age Level: 14-16

John Green won the Printz Award for this debut novel that follows the life of Miles "Pudge" Halter during his first year at an elite Alabama boarding school. Dreaming of finding Francois Rabelais' the "Great Perhaps," Pudge learns many life lessons from his new friends, especially the stunning and self-destructive Alaska Young.

Buy Looking for Alaska

Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Age Level: 12-14

Where is Margo Roth Spiegelman? After Margo takes Quentin Jacobsen on a wild all-night adventure, he thought Margo was back in his life. Instead she disappears completely leaving Quentin to decipher the clues she's left behind and his feelings for her.

Buy Paper Towns


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