Professors to join teens for book discussion

Book cover of "The Fault in Our Stars"Local teens are invited to read “The Fault in Our Stars” by wildly popular author John Green and then come together for the STEM Teen Read book discussion, scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Graham Hall 223.

Experts from NIU and the community will join the teen readers to discuss the science behind the fiction in one of the few “young adult” books ever to enjoy a long ride on the New York Times bestseller list.

Critics have described “The Fault in Our Stars” as “hilariously funny,” an unexpected accolade for a book about teenage cancer patients. The book’s characters bring ordinary teenage sensibilities, needs and humor to extraordinary situations.

Three commentators will provide background about the book’s themes.

Ruth Wood from the Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Community Hospital will help teen readers understand issues faced by teenage cancer patients and how to best support friends and family members who are dealing with cancer.

Narayan Hosmane will explain his research with boron, which he calls, “a miracle element for cancer treatment.” Gaylen Kapperman will use equipment in the lab to demonstrate how a blind character in the book can read and play video games.

Following the background talks, teens can enjoy snacks and the opportunity to discuss the book with each other as well as with the experts. Advance registration is not required, and parking on campus is free after 7 p.m.

Narayan Hosmane and Gaylen Kapperman
Narayan Hosmane and Gaylen Kapperman

Teens who register can access online discussion opportunities and a video interview and demonstration with Kapperman.

Kapperman said he believes that “The Fault in Our Stars” could “make a significant difference in a young person’s life. I am convinced that for a highly dedicated young person who is determined to make a major contribution, this book could lead to a career in cancer research.”

STEM Outreach delivers off-campus programs and on-campus activities that increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics literacy and enthusiasm among P-12 students, their families and educators.

Part of NIU’s P-20 Center, STEM Outreach worked with 21,570 students, 1,200 teachers and 6,000 community members in 2012.

STEM Outreach joins the NIU Libraries and local public libraries in sponsoring Sci-Fi Teen Read.

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