By David Levithan and John Green
Grades 9 & Up
NOTE: Although both characters are named “Will Grayson,” in this discussion guide, we have capitalized the name of the one from the odd chapters (Will Grayson) and have all lowercase letters for the one from the even chapters (will grayson).
- In what ways is Will Grayson’s life similar to will grayson’s? How are they different? Do you think one has a significantly easier life?
- Will Grayson states, “You cannot possibly pick your friends, or else I never would have ended up with Tiny Cooper.” (p. 3) What is it about his relationship with Tiny that he finds so difficult? Consider your own friendships—have you ever had a friend that you felt required an extra effort on your part to remain friends?
- Will Grayson chose to defend Tiny’s right to play football regardless of his sexual orientation, but is later regretful of his decision. Why do you think he has changed his mind about coming to Tiny’s defense?
- Will shares with readers that emotion is easy to resist “if you follow two simple rules: 1. Don’t care too much. 2. Shut up.” (p. 5) What can readers infer about Will from this statement? Do you think this is sage advice? Why or why not?
- Beyond his size, what is it about Tiny’s presence that makes will feel not so alone? Why is it so important that will befriends Tiny when he does?
- Discuss the significance of Tiny’s musical production of Hold Me Closer; in what ways does sharing his personal experiences through this play allow Will and Tiny to evaluate their friendship? Predict how their relationship will evolve after the production.
- Why is will and Will’s final gift to Tiny so important? What does this act signify about the Will Graysons understanding of friendship? Have you ever gone to such great lengths to let a friend or loved one know what they mean to you? If so, what have you done to show your appreciation for them?
Book Discussion Guide from Penguin Books for Young Readers