When a student comes bounding up to me and says, “You MUST read this book!” I generally do. In the past, this has led me to The Giver and A Prayer for Owen Meaney. (The latter led to a John Irving obsession that lasted way too long.) So I went out and bought The Fault in Our Stars. It started slowly for me, though I was aware that I was comparing it to Wonder and thinking about why books were being written about children with serious health challenges. But the characters and the book itself grew on me. The dialogue, which at first seemed precocious, became earned. I applauded Green’s handling of the trip to Amsterdam as well as the ending. There’s a lot to meditate on in here. I wonder about children reading it on their own. There are more than a few dark moments. Still, this is a good book that I’d put in the hands of any 6th – 9th grader. I’d just make sure I’d checked in with her / him about it from time to time.