I can see why this book is popular among lit teachers. It's full of THEMES and BIG IDEAS. Forgiveness. Friendships. Love. Relationships. Teenagers. Mortality.
It's also about 16-year-olds who swear (a lot), get drunk (a lot), smoke (a lot), and have sex (a lot).
I won't offer Looking for Alaska to my kids. But if If my teenage kids are asked to read it for school, I'll use it as an extended teaching opportunity and read it along with them. I'll tell them exactly what they'll be reading about and what we'll be talking about.
I don't care how big the ideas are. If they can't talk about it, they can't read about it.
Oh, they are going to squirm. That will be fun.