Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

by Jesse Andrews

Greg Gaines has perfected a system for flying beneath the radar at high school. Now,... read more

Greg Gaines has perfected a system for flying beneath the radar at high school. Now, at the start of his senior year, he’s accepted by every clique and sub-clique without having to join any of them. Greg uses self-deprecating humor to cover up his own insecurities, and his only real friend—although he thinks of him more as a coworker—is Earl, an African American boy with whom he bonded in kindergarten over a mutual love of violent video games. This evolved into a mutual love of mostly obscure, arty violent movies, which has turned into a mutual obsession with filmmaking. For years the two of them have been making their own (really bad) backyard versions of films (e.g., Apocalypse Later ). Then Greg’s mom asks him to call Rachel, a classmate he also knows from Hebrew school who’s been diagnosed with leukemia. He can’t think of a way to get out of it and reluctantly gets in touch and starts visiting her. His ability to blend in at school is shattered when he’s inevitably labeled as the boyfriend of the dying girl, although he isn’t Rachel’s boyfriend and resists feeling anything beyond a sense of obligation until Earl challenges him to be real. A laugh-out-loud, probing novel that looks honestly at life and death is told in a variety of formats, including dialogue, movie scripts, headlines, lists, and prose. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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