A Literary Analysis

The Fault in Our Stars

Another Literary Analysis by Maya

Citation: Green, John. The Fault In Our Stars. New York: Penguin Books, 2012.


Reliability: I could tell The Fault In Our Stars was reliable because the author, John Green is very popular and has written many other successful books. This one in particular has been TIME Magazine’s #1 Fiction Book of the Year, #1 International Bestseller, #1 Indie Bestseller, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, and #1 New York Times Bestseller. It also has excellent reviews from TIME Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, NPR.org, The Sacramento Bee, People, Parenting, Booklist, starred review, Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, and Jodi Picoult, author of My Sister’s Keeper, and Sing You Home.


Category: The Fault In Our Stars follows a problem solving pattern: person versus nature. In this case, nature is a disease. Hazel Grace and Gus , meet in a cancer support group. Hazel, obsessed with a book which ends right in the middle of a sentence, lends it to Gus.  A charitable organization has promised Gus a dying wish, and so the two cancer patients fly to Amsterdam to meet the author. What a disappointment!  The author turns out to be a jerk. Hazel and Gus decide to make the best of their trip and enjoy the sights of the city, but during their last days in Amsterdam, Gus tells Hazel that his cancer has returned and spread throughout his body. After he dies, everyone around him is filled with grief. And so, the conflict in the novel is resolved in an unusual way. While it appears that nature – cancer – has won, Gus’s positive impact on so many lives means that he will actually continue to live in the memories of the people he loved. 


Short Annotation: Hazel and Gus, who are both fighting cancer, go on a breathtaking adventure together. This 313 page-novel vividly shows how many people around you appreciate you more than you think.


Point of View: 1st

  • “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I…” (3).
  • “Augustus leaned in so he thought I couldn’t hear” (15).
  • I’ll be at the food court” (41).


Tense: Past

  • “Issac leaned a hand against the snack table and focused his huge eye on me” (15).
  • “My favourite book, by a wide margin, was An Imperial Affliction, but I didn’t like to tell people about it” (33).
  • “I gave them a quick swipe with my T-shirt, laced the tubes behind my ears, and put the nubbins back in place” (47).

Literary Excellence:

Short Sentences:

  • Mom was just idling” (20).
  • “I don’t know why” (31).
  • “I nodded. I like Augustus Waters. I really, really, really liked him” (31).
  • “’I found her. I emailed her. She gave him the email. He responded via her email account” (67).
  • In the end, we both lost. So it goes” (137).


  • “…Staff Sergeant Max Mayhem…” (47).
  • “Dutch tulip trader…” (49).
  • “…veins visible” (58).
  • “…desperate prisoner, pleading,…” (134).
  • “…machine marked…” (141).
  • “’…fragile flower…’” (145).


  • “’Get it get it get it’” (58).
  • “’Grenade! Grenade!’” (58).
  • “’God, help me. God, help me’” (134).
  • “…nervous nervous nervous” (179).


  • “The shirt was a screen print of a famous Surrealist artwork by René Margritte in which he drew a pipe and then beneath it wrote in cursive Ceci n’est pas une pipe. (“This is not a pipe.”)… ‘But it is a pipe.’ No, it’s not,’ I said ‘It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract….’” (178).


  • “’They don’t kill you unless you light them,’ he said as Mom arrived at the curb. ‘And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing’” (20).


  • “He was maybe ten, wiry and over energetic, and he kind of skipped across…” (133).


Connection: My connection to The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is text to self. My family has had a lot of losses due to cancer. In 2013, we lost 3 people in 3 months. One of them was very close to my parents. He battled cancer for 7 years, and was in remission for a total of about 18 months. When he was first diagnosed, they found the cancer in his lungs, even though he had not been smoking. One third of his lung was removed. After that, they found a tumour at the base of his spine which caused him lose the ability to walk. The doctors then found lesions in his brain and lungs. The cancer was first found while his wife was pregnant with their first child. He did not start his medication until their second child had been born. There is a group called the Dark Horse Riders, which he took part in, who ride in a bike ride called Ride to Conquer Cancer. He used it as a distraction from being sick, similar to how Augustus distracted Hazel by taking her to Amsterdam. Every year, the Dark Horse Riders still ride in his honour and have his name on their bikes. Towards the end of his life, meditation was another distraction for him, and my mom was his guide. My mom says the meditation helped him appreciate his life, and while doing this, she learned to appreciate hers.

A Literary Analysis


Another Literary Analysis by Keenan

Citation/Bibliography Entry

Ganeri, Anita. Eruption: The Story of Volcanoes. New York: DK Publishing, 2000.


I find this publisher, DK Publishing, to be reliable because this book is included in the DK Reading program and is designed in conjunction with Dr. Linda Gambrell who is a distinguished Professor of Education. Dr. Gambrell has served as the President of the National Reading Conference, The College Reading Association, and the International Reading Association. DK Reader books are guaranteed to capture a readers interest, develop their reading skills, apply knowledge, and generate a love of reading.



 The category of this book is informational pattern. There is a lot of information about volcanoes and how they are created and how and why they erupt. Volcanoes start off underground, where it seems like they are solid and hard, but inside the earth it is so hot that the rocks melt and create lava. When volcanoes erupt, they shoot ash, dust, and lava out of the crater that acts like a vent. When a volcano stops erupting, the crater then fills with water and becomes a lake or a dry, grassy plain. This nonfiction book tells information about the world.


Short Annotation

This non-fiction book about volcanoes describes, in words and vibrant pictures, how volcanoes are made and how they erupt. This 32-page book, written from the second person point of view, has great facts and pictures about volcanoes and how they erupt. Recommended for readers 7-10 years old.


Point of View: second person 

  • “…you jump up and down…” (6).
  • “You can walk around the streets…” (20).
  • “…you can’t seem…” (26).


Tense: Past

  • “They will blast…” (12).
  • “…they will poke up…” (26).
  • “…they will erupt!” (28).


Literary Excellence

  • Alliteration:
  • “…fiery fountains…” (9).
  • “…steep sides.” (10).
  • “…called a crater…” (14).
  • “…because it always bursts…” (15).
  • “…sea started…” (27).


  • Appositives:
  • “…red-hot.” (8).
  • “…cone-shaped…” (10).
  • “Lava, ash, and dust…” (14).
  • “…build roads, bridges, and houses.” (23).
  • “…brand-new…” (27).
  • “…crushed-up…” (29).


  • Assonance:
  • “…cools…” (8).
  • “…oozes…” (11).
  • Consonance:
  • “…erupt…” (30).
  • “…fields…” (12).


  • Irony: 
  • “…erupt quietly…” (11).


  • Personification:
  • “…spits out fire.” (4).
  • “…makes it hiss…” (29).


  • Powerful Verbs: 
  • “…with a BANG!” (4).
  • “…Extinct volcanoes…” (16).


Connection: text to self and text to world

            This book reminds me of a time when I went to Maui, which is one of the Hawaiian Islands. When I was in Maui, we saw a non-active volcano and it was extremely high up and you could see the crater filled with dark green vegetation. We drove up to the top of the crater and the oxygen level was low because I found it harder to breath. When we were at the top, I imagined what it would look like when it was erupting long ago. This non-fiction picture book made me remember my thoughts as I stood at the top of the non-active volcano wondering what it was like active.

            This book reminds me of the many active volcanoes around the world today. There are about 1500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide. About 50 to 70 of these volcanoes actively erupt each year and at any given time, including today, there are about 20 volcanoes erupting. Some only erupt with ash and steam coming out of the top as the lava flows underground, and others erupt with fierce violent bursts of lava erupting over the sides and down the mountain slopes. Volcanoes have been active in history, as well as around the world today.




A Literary Analysis


Another Literary Analysis by Keenan

Citation/Bibliographic Entry

Peet, Bill. Cyrus The Unsinkable Sea Serpent. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975.



I know this author to be reliable because he has written and illustrated more than 30 humourous books for children. He became Walt Disney’s greatest storyman during his 27-year career, making animated films such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and 25 other Disney films. All of his books were published by Houghton Mifflin Company and remain active in print today.



I think the category of this book is a problem-solving pattern because in this picture book the problem was solved in the middle of the book. Pirates were trying to take over a ship by destroying it. Cyrus, the serpent, saw that they were trying to blow the ship up and so destroyed the pirate ship instead. He then took the ship with the passengers and the crew safely to their destination. 


Short Annotation

Cyrus, a sea serpent, has to decide whether to allow pirates to destroy a ship with innocent people on board or help the ship get safely to its destination. This 46-page picture book, written from the third person point of view, shows the struggle of deciding whether to do the right thing or allow pirates to hurt innocent people. Recommended for readers aged 10 – 14 years old.


Point of View

  • This book is written from the third person point of view:
  • “…he slipped up…” (15).
  • “He roared” (18).
  • “…sharply he shot…” (34).


Tense: Past

  • This book is written in the past tense:
  • “Now he was…” (9).
  • “…and he was…” (27).
  • “…surface, he was…” (37).


Literary Excellence

  • Alliteration:
  • “…was worried…” (9).
  • “…ship sailed…” (12).
  • “…ship started…” (15).
  • “Tie down the…” (18).
  • “…to the…” (20).
  • “…sharply he shot…” (34).


  • Vocabulary:
  • “…hold on! Cried the Captain.” (17).
  • “You Lubbers! Roared the Pirate Captain.” (30).
  • “…twenty cannons exploded with a thundering BOOM…” (33).


  • Simile:
  • “…tough as anyone.” (3).
  • “…just as a…” (19).
  • “As he…” (28).
  • “…thing like that.” (32).
  • “…waves as limp…” (36).


  • Consonance:
  • “…BOOM…” (33).
  • “…KERWHAM…” (35).


  • Appositives:
  • “…ships, he said, lots…” (3).
  • “…he said’ – not unless…” (9).
  • “…coming – great, towering wind – and…” (19).
  • “…hull – KERWHAM – and…” (35).


Connection: text to self

            This book reminds me of a time when my Grandpa Brent from Penticton told me and my cousin Riley there was a lake monster called the Ogopogo. The legend says that the Ogopogo resides in the Okanagan Lake between Penticton and Kelowna and has been sighted by many people. My Grandpa described it as a fierce lake monster with a green snakelike body about 25 meters long, which is very similar to the way Cyrus the Sea Serpent looked in the illustrations in the book. Riley and I became afraid of this lake monster and thought it was dangerous and would tip our boat or eat us if we went for a swim. We did not want to go into the lake at all for several days until my Grandpa finally told us that its just a legend, so we were not scared anymore. After reading this book, it made me wonder if the legend is actually true because there are many similar stories depicting a Sea Serpent type monster in lakes and oceans around the world. I wonder if Cyrus will appear one day and save a ship stranded in the ocean?