Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Publication Date: 2006, 2012
Publisher: Speak (An Inprint of Penguin Group Inc.)
Price: $9.99 (Paperback)
Number of Pages: 272
Awards: Michael L. Printz Honor Book, Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
Genre/Subgenre: Realistic Fiction
A child prodigy sets out to determine his path and why he always falls for girls named Katherine.
It’s the end of senior year and former child prodigy Colin Singleton has once again been dumped by a Katherine – the nineteenth Katherine, to be exact. Hoping to cheer him up, his best friend Hassan takes Collin on a road trip that leads them to Gutshot, Tennessee and the supposed grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Gunshot introduces Collin to Lindsay Lee Wells and her mother, who offers Collin and Hassan a summer job interviewing Gunshot residents about local history. It is in Gunshot that Collin takes up his other summer project: to create a formula predicting the outcome of romantic relationships. Using his relationships with the nineteen Katherine’s, Collin successfully creates his formula. Along the way, Collin comes to terms with being a former child prodigy and discovers through Lindsay Lee Wells that he may be able to find love by someone who isn’t a Katherine after all.
An Abundance of Katherines is funny, a little weird, and absolutely worth reading. Even though few teens are child prodigies, I think that most readers will be able to relate to Collin – his struggles to find himself, his changing friendships, and his quest for love. John Green employs humor very effectively in this novel, making it quite a fun read. Fans of wordplay will particularly enjoy Collin and his obsession with anagrams.
Why I Chose the Book:
I really enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, so I wanted to try another of John Green’s novels. I was also really intrigued by the plot premise – a former child prodigy who only dates girls named Katherine? I thought it was weird and funny and I wanted to know more.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Paper Towns by John Green
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Book Talk Ideas
The protagonist, Colin, has a gift for anagrams and is constantly making anagrams of other character’s names. Do a lesson on anagrams and have your students or patrons make anagrams of their own names.
1. In the novel, Collin creates a formula to predict the outcome of romantic relationships. What does this say about Collin, his relationships, and his views on love?
2. Compare and contrast the characters Collin and Hassan. To what extent is Hassan a foil to Collin?
An Abundance of Katherines (2014). Amazon. Retrieved from:
An Abundance of Katherines (2014). John Green [Blog]. Retrieved from:
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (2014). Goodreads. Retrieved from:
Green, J. (2006) An Abundance of Katherines [iBook version]. New York, NY: Speak.