THE TRAGEDY PAPER by Elizabeth Laban



Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their love.


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!!


Posted on July 7, 2014, in Monday Mania and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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