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The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy Paper

by Elizabeth LaBan

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2713841,869 (3.7)2
  1. 00
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (amysisson)
    amysisson: "Looking for Alaska" explores tragedy much as "The Tragedy Paper" does, but doesn't spend so much time discussing it explicitly -- which in my mind makes it even more effective. The two books have the boarding school theme in common, as well as a special, unique young woman who has captured the protagonist's heart.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Debut novel about life in a boarding school and the meaning of tragedy. It was something different from the fantasy/dystopian/death stories that dominate teen fiction today and I look forward to reading more by this author. ( )
  olegalCA | Nov 24, 2015 |
I wasn't too impressed with this book. I dived into the book with extremely high expectations that ended up not being met. I still remember the first time that I read the summary on Goodreads before the book had been published. It sounded amazing, no, it sounded spectacular. Looking back though, I think I fell in love with it because it wasn't about vampires, werewolves, and faeries. I always tend to drift towards books that aren't the current trend. I had my vampire and werewolf fix with Twilight, so at the time I was looking for books that did not even mention those two words.

In the book the current senior class has to write a long thesis paper or they refer to it as The Tragedy Paper. Throughout the year, their teacher Mr. Simon would drop hints about what to include if they wanted extra credit on it. The students truly had free reign with this paper, because the guidelines Mr. Simon did give were quite frank but specific. Reading about the stress and anxiety given by this paper brought back memories of a research paper that I had to complete my eighth grade year. Although, we just had to stress about it for a semester, not a whole school year. I found the two assignments quite similar. I could choose what ever topic I wanted, as long as I followed the few specific guidelines that were given.

My favorite character out of the whole novel is Mr. Simon. He, himself, attended Irving School, and now is the teacher for Senior English. He's one of those teachers who you want to dislike, because he is the giver of a difficult and lengthy assignment. However, he teaches the material in a way that makes you want to pay attention, and do well. He is charismatic, highly intelligent, gentle, and a bachelor who can bake amazing food. Do I need to say more?

I was really hoping that The Tragedy Paper would be a winner for me, but it just didn't capture me enough to lose myself into the world of the characters. The writing was boring, and if it wasn't for my curiosity about what happened the year before I probably would have started reading something else. This is a fine example about how I hate reading books that I and others have created hype around. (That's why I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet - too much hype especially now that the movie is out.)
( )
  mamelotti | Apr 24, 2015 |
Tim was a senior transfer at the Irving School in Westchester, New York. On his way there he was snowed in at the airport where he met Vanessa, a senior who also attended Irving. They quickly bonded and he fell in love with her, but knew their involvement would be short-lived because her boyfriend Patrick was jealous and because he was an albino. Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/the-tragedy-paper-elizabeth-l... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Another reviewer posted on Goodreads that The Tragedy Paper is a cross between Looking for Alaska and 13 Reasons Why. I totally agree! Switching POV between Tim and Duncan truly brings emotion to the reader. I was transfixed by Tim’s story and was just as frustrated as Duncan when each CD ended. Tim’s story connected two boys in a way I never expected, even though in the end it was a tragedy.

As a middle school teacher, I wish all schools used things like a tragedy paper to get students thinking about connections in life. THIS is truly what Common Core is all about. Now, I’m not trying to flare up discussion about this topic–I know how heated it can get. But in Language Arts/Literature/English classes, it’s all about connecting literature and stories to our lives. I’m going to try something similar to this during school, but my focus will be on happiness or forgiveness or memories. Something a little less dark:)

A definite MUST read for the summer!! ( )
  kissedbyink | Jul 8, 2014 |
4Q, 4P

Elizabeth LaBan sucks us in with a story within a story. Duncan begins senior year and finds a stack of CDs left in his new room from the previous occupant, Tim. Duncan recalls that something tragic and haunting happened to Tim last year -- listening to the CDs tells him what happened to Tim leading up to that terrible night Tim disappeared. There really isn't a mystery, but the way the story is written, through Duncan's experience and listening to Tim's own story pulls the reader in to make it a quick read to find out what happens after all the CDs are listened to.

Great way to tell a story, especially with Duncan's and Tim's intertwining as the story goes on. I know some people were disappointed at the end, I can't say that I wasn't. However, it was still a great story and definitely one that leaves you thinking about your own actions and how they may affect others. ( )
  miss_bc | Jun 5, 2014 |
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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:17 -0400)

While preparing for the most dreaded assignment at the prestigious Irving School, the Tragedy Paper, Duncan gets wrapped up in the tragic tale of Tim Macbeth, a former student who had a clandestine relationship with the wrong girl, and his own ill-fated romance with Daisy.… (more)

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