The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Teen Book Club Kit
The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. This title is recommended for ages 9 and up.
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Cancer, Interpersonal Relationships
2013 Teen Book of the Year, Children’s Choice Book Awards
2013 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production
2012 Time Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year
5 Copies of The Fault in Our Stars
1 Audio Book Copy of The Fault in Our Stars (6 CDs)
1 Discussion Guide. This discussion guide contains discussion questions, activities and other information to foster discussion of this book. You will also find information on starting and running a book club, and other information. You may make copies of any of these materials. Please do not write on these materials and return all pages, books, and contents of this kit.
*A downloadable ebook version of The Fault in our Stars is available to check out and download here.
If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you might like these books:
TEEN FICTION BRA
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
TEEN FICTION CRU
Deadline by Chris Crutcher
TEEN FICTION DOW
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
TEEN FICTION MAT
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
TEEN FICTION PIC
My Sister’s Keeper by Jody Picoult
TEEN FICTION WUN
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Interview with John Green--spoilers!
The Fault in Our Stars Discussion Questions
These questions have no right or wrong answers. Just think about and respond thoughtfully. Please share your own group’s discussion questions and comments by emailing email@example.com. Be sure to check the library’s teen pages at www.btpl.org for additional questions and comments from other book groups.
Discussion questions from Literlovers.com
1. John Green derives his book's title from a famous line in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." (I,ii,139-140). What does the line mean—and why would Green have used it for his title? Even more important, why would he have altered it to read, "The fault in our stars" rather than ourselves? How does Green's meaning differ from Shakespeare's?
2. How would you describe the two main characters, Hazel and Gus? Do either of them conform, in behavior or thinking, to what we normally associate with young cancer patients? How do the two differ from one another...and how do their personality traits and interests complement each other?
3. How do Hazel and Gus each relate to their cancer? Do they define themselves by it? Do they ignore it? Do they rage at life's unfairness? Most importantly, how do the two confront the big questions of life and death?
4. Do you find some of the descriptions of pain, the medical realities that accompany cancer, or the discussion of bodily fluids too graphic?
5. At one point, Hazel says, "Cancer books suck." Is this a book about cancer? Did you have trouble picking up the book to read it? What were you expecting? Were those expectations met...or did the book alter your ideas?
5. John Green uses the voice of an adolescent girl to narrate his story. Does he do a convincing job of creating a female character?
7. Hazel considers An Imperial Affliction "so special and rare that advertising your affection for it feels like a betrayal." Why is it Hazel's favorite book? Why is it so important that she and Gus learn what happens after its heroine dies? Have you ever felt the same way about a book as Hazel does—that it is too special to talk about?
8. What do you think about Peter Van Houten, the fictional author of An Imperial Affliction? This book's real author, John Green, has said that Van Houten is a "horrible, horrible person but I have an affection for him." Why might Green have said that? What do you think of Van Houten?
9. Green once served as a chaplain in a children's hospital, working with young cancer patients. In an interview, he referred to the "hero's journey within illness"—that "in spite of it, you pull yourself up and continue to be alive while you're alive." In what way does Green's comment apply to his book—about two young people who are dying? Is theirs a hero's journey? Is the "pull yourself up" phrase an unseemly statement by someone, like the author or any reader, who is not facing a terminal disease?
10. What did you make of the book's humor? Is it appropriate...or inappropriate? Green has said he "didn't want to use humor to lighten the mood" or "to pull out the easy joke" when things got hard. But, he said, he likes to write about "clever kids, [and they] tend to be funny even when things are rough." Is his use of humor successful? How did it affect the way you read the book?
11. After his chaplaincy experience, Green said he believed that "life is utterly random and capricious, and arbitrary." Yet he also said, after finishing The Fault in Our Stars that he no longer feels that life's randomness "robs human life of its meaning...or that it robs even lives of people who don't get to have full lives." Would you say that the search for meaning—even, or especially, in the face of dying—is what this book explores? Why...or why not?
12. How do Hazel and Gus change, in spirit, over the course of the novel?
13. Talk about how you experienced this book? Is it too sad, too tragic to contemplate? Or did you find it in some way uplifting?