Fifty States Of Fiction: Alabama


We can’t always travel to the places on our bucket list. But we can go there with books! I started the Fifty States Of Fiction challenge with the aim of reading one book from every state in the country. Each week in 2017 I’ll be here to talk about a different state, share with you some geographical fun facts, and explore how a novel, play, or personal narrative captures the essence of the area. Want to follow along? Check out this free printable calendar I’ve created just for you! Let’s get started!


Today’s State: Alabama

Nickname: Heart of Dixie

Motto: “We Dare Defend our Rights”

Bird: Yellowhammer

Flower: Camellia

Entered the union in: 1819

Now, pack your bags everybody. We’re about to explore Alabama as John Green portrays it in Looking For Alaska.


Miles Halter has successfully achieved a life of stagnant boredom in his southern hometown. Inspired by the final words of poet Francois Rabelais, he leaves Florida to seek a Great Perhaps at Culver Creek Preparatory School before it’s too late. Fifteen miles south of Birmingham, Alabama, “the Creek” introduces Miles to an entirely new level of heat. Inside dorm room number 43, the air-conditioner-less space makes Miles sweat. Outside, shaded by the overhang that covers the door to his room, the heat is still and suffocating thanks to a limp and breezeless sky. The dorms, which resemble hospital rooms on the inside and an outdated motel on the outside, stretch in a one-story ring around a courtyard of grass. Behind the dorm circle, across the soccer field, and into the woods, the fake sand of the lakeside beach is home to an Adirondack porch swing where Miles has his first one on one encounter with the stunning Alaska Young. That very same night, he is kidnapped from his bed, duct tapped, and thrown into the lake. From that night on, Miles knows his new life at Culver Creek will be nothing like his monotonous past. In this place, you never know what is going to happen.

Have you read any other books set in Alabama? Have you traveled there yourself? Make sure to let me know what the Heart Of Dixie means to you in the comments! Check back here next week to explore Alaska through literature.

And remember, if you want to keep up with our schedule as we travel the country, you can download my free printable calendar.

See you all next week!


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