Larry and the Meaning of Life

by Janet Tashjian

After losing a presidential campaign and his girlfriend, Josh Swensen (a.k.a. Larry) can't seem to get off the couch. His usual overactive imagination and save-the-world mindset have all but vanished, and his best friend, Beth, is seriously worried. When Beth coaxes Josh into taking a walk at Walden Pond, he meets Gus Muldarian, a spiritual guru who encourages Josh to join his study group as a way to find deeper meaning in life. Josh agrees, but what begins as a harmless Thoreau-esque search for meaning soon turns into Josh's most chaotic and profound adventure yet. Black-and-white photographs.

ISBN: 9780805077363

JLG Release: December 2008

Other Release:

May 2016

JLG Member Price

Out of Stock

Young Adults

Grades 9 & Up


12 books / $16.30 a book

  • Book Details




    Print Book




    Henry Holt

    Page Count


    Trim Size

    5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

    Dewey Classification


    Accelerated Reader

    Level: 5.4, Points: 6

    Scholastic Reading Counts

    Level: 4.6, Points: 11


    Level: 760L



    Author/Illustrator Biographies

    Janet Tashjian got her inspiration for Larry and the Meaning of Life from one of her favorite natural settings: Walden Pond. "The spirit of Henry David Thoreau fills The Gospel According to Larry, " she says.

    "It gives me such pleasure when readers of the first two books discover Thoreau 's Walden. For this new story, I wanted to pay further homage to Thoreau by setting the book at Walden Pond. It 's one of my favorite places on the planet. All the Larry books are fun to write. But this one had me laughing out loud at my desk. "

    Ms. Tashjian lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and her son.

    For more about this author visit

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