An Abundance of Katherines

Book Report By: Robert Breeser

Introduction

Have you ever wondered how you could mean something to the world, in all of its vastness and complexity? John Green answers this question, as well as many other smaller questions about life in An Abundance of Katherines. Therefore, it is in your (and the school's) best interest to purchase An Abundance of Katherines by John Green for Ridgeview's library. It has very interesting characters, is written by an author who is very popular in our school, and has a lesson that we can all learn.

Interesting Characters

There are many interesting and unique characters in An Abundance of Katherines. Colin Singleton, the main character, is a child prodigy that has dated 19 girls all named Katherine. He is very smart, but he feels that he hasn't done anything that matters; all he thinks he's done is memorize things. Colin's best friend is Hassan, a rotund fellow who is always joking around. Because of this, he is not very serious about life, thinking he can just skate by. Colin's other friend, whom he meets while on a road trip, is Lindsey. She is nice, but feels that she is a chameleon, acting different around different people so she best fits in the situation, but losing her identity in the process. The antagonist of sorts, Lindsey's boyfriend, is Colin, or The Other Colin. He is strong, arrogant, and ill-tempered. This provides a stark contrast to the mostly easy-going characters.
Child Prodigy Research

Colin said that just because he was a child prodigy doesn't mean he will become an adult genius. This is a book elaborating on this topic. I felt that it was appropriate to attach, considering what Colin talks about.

Author

This book is written by John Green, the same person who wrote Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He has won many awards including The Printz Award for Looking for Alaska; and The Fault in Our Stars was on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 25 weeks. Needless to say, his books are very popular, especially with this age group (8th grade), since he writes Young Adult novel. In fact, just the other day, I counted no less than 20 people with one of his books or another. You might think, "Just because an author is popular and well-received doesn't automatically make every book he writes good." In this case, however, you are wrong because this book received a 4.5/5 by Barnes & Noble, which is exactly what all of Green's other books got. To those who have not heard of John Green, it is a great introduction to his work, not to mention a great book, showing his true talent with words. For those who are already familiar with him but have not read this book, this is a true example of his style. Additionally, after the raw and mature book Looking for Alaska, this book seems watered down; you will find that it is appropriate for children our age.

Lesson

All writers write for a purpose. Green's purpose in this book is to provide an entertaining story about a nerdy boy trying to matter while also making us, the reader, think about the "big picture" questions: Why are we here? How can we matter? Green's question this time around is: How can we leave our mark on the world? He writes about Colin, who tries to come up with a theorem for predicting relationships so that he can save others from his mistakes (19, to be exact). Colin wants to do this to create something so that he will "matter to the world." He feels as though all he can do is repeat information, but cannot produce anything original. "Imagining a Theorem only required a prodigy, but actually completing it would require a genius." (Green 106) In other words, if Colin can prove his theorem (The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability), he will become a genius and "matter."

Conclusion

In summary, An Abundance of Katherines is worth buying for the school because it has characters who you'll remember, an author who is very famous and popular with this particular demographic (8th graders), and it has a lesson that a large majority of people will recognize and take to heart. If you don't pick up An Abundance of Katherines for our library, you have done a disservice to your students.

Citations:

Green , John. An Abundance of Katherines. 2006. Photograph.

www.teenbookguides.pbworks.comWeb. 19 Feb 2014.

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. 2012. Photograph. www.gobblefunked.comWeb. 19

Feb 2014.

Green , John. Paper Towns. 2009. Photograph. www.johngreenbooks.comWeb. 19 Feb

2014.