What do you do if you are a
technology literate 17 year old with a message? At least you think
you have a message. You produce your own web page of course.
That's all Josh Swenson had in mind when he began writing. He felt
he had a message. He didn't really expect anyone to look at his web
page. He would write about anti consumerism. He was appalled
with the whole materialistic attitude of those around him. He read
Thoreau and believed in simplifying his life. So he would write about
it on his web page. He decided to keep his identity a secret to preserve
the message. Who would listen to a kid anyway? As the months
went by, more and more people logged in to see what Larry was saying today.
As the page's popularity increased, more and more people began wondering
who Larry really was. Josh was amazed at the commotion surrounding
his page. When Bono, lead singer of the band U2, started talking
about Larry, Josh knew this had gotten way out of control. He had
simply wanted to talk about simplifying life and now his life was totally
complicated. Worse than any of this, now people were trying to out
Larry. What would happen if they found out it was Josh?
ever wished you could make an impact on the world? For seventeen
year old Josh, he took it one step beyond wishing and creates a website
notifying everyone of his beliefs on anti-consumerism. In a series
of sermons Josh is able to convince many young people his age to take a
stand and make a difference. The problem is no one knows that Josh
is “Larry” and it is a constant struggle to keep his identity hidden. Josh
is found out suddenly becomes a known celebrity. Josh severs the relationship
he had with his friend Beth and his father when he runs away seeking peace.
This book will leave you wanting to clean out the things you don't need
that you have in your closet and will make you consider the things you
have left as “needs” rather than “wants.”
by: April Crumpton for South
Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005
Hey, who's the class clown?
You? (Go stand by 'class clown' as identified by the class) OK, everybody,
I want you to imagine that "Tony" here has designed a website -- a website
full of his philosophical rambings, thoughts, ideas. And everybody is going
to this website -- I mean, not only the people in school, but people in
town, the whole country -- this website is even being written up in Time
But here's the thing -- nobody knows it's "Tony's" website. Everybody's
reading it, but nobody knows it's *his* website.
That's what happens in The Gospel According to Larry. This kid named Joshua
does this website and it is the hottest thing going. And nobody knows that
"Larry" is really Joshua.
Josh doesn't even tell his best friend, Beth, that he's *really* Larry.
He has a major thing for Beth and he's afraid to tell her. And get this
-- Beth is falling for this guy Larry and has no idea that her old pal
Josh is really Larry.
So -- will Joshua come clean to Beth? Will he let the world know that he's
behind The Gospel According to Larry? If you want to know how Josh handles
this -- read the book! (Marcia S. Kalayjian, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Graduate Student, USC School of Library and Info, Science, Columbia, SC)