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Tashjian, Janet.
New York : Henry Holt, 2001.
ISBN 0805063781

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

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?

Booktalk #2

Have you 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.”

Prepared by: April Crumpton for South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2005

Booktalk #3

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 magazine!
                    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,,  Graduate Student, USC School of Library and Info, Science, Columbia, SC)

SUBJECTS:     Web sites -- Fiction.
                        Identity -- Fiction.
                        Fame -- Fiction.
                        Coming of age -- Fiction.


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