||Close friendships, hilarious pranks, and illicit smoking await scrawny, nerdy high-school junior Miles Halter when he goes away to Culver Creek, an Alabama boarding school. Immediately nicknamed Pudge by his roommate--a small, well-muscled scholarship student called the Colonel--Miles becomes a part of a tightly-knit group of pranksters headed by a sensual, opinionated, cigarette-smoking, booze-swilling girl named Alaska. Miles is intrigued by her, half in love, and desperate to discover the truth behind her mysterious mood swings and wild behavior. Each character in this sensitive, funny, and sad young-adult novel struggles with the agonies of being a teenager, perfectly stated in Alaska's own Religion term paper question: "How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?" Winner of the prestigious 2006 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.