John Green has become a fixture in young adult literature due to his huge success with The Fault in Our Stars, which holds the distinction of being both an excellent book and movie. However, there is a lot more behind this stellar author.
Who is John Green?
Green is a graduate of Kenyon College, having earned a double major in English and religious studies. Originally intending to become a priest, he eventually decided to set his sights on becoming an author. He worked for the journal Booklist, where part of his job included reviewing large quantities of books. In 2005, he published his first novel, Looking for Alaska.
Green is also well-known for his strong presence on YouTube. He founded the channel VlogBrothers in 2007 with his brother, Hank Green. In 2011, he and his brother also created Crash Course together, an educational YouTube channel. They have also launched several other online ventures together.
He currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and children.
What has he worked on?
Green currently has six Young Adult novels out, two of which he co-authored with other writers. His first novel, Looking for Alaska, takes place at a boarding school where a boy looking for excitement finds he’s in for the adventure of a lifetime when he encounters a girl named Alaska. An Abundance of Katherines chronicles the relationship past, present, and future of a boy use to being dumped. In Paper Towns, a mysterious girl sends an ordinary guy on a chase to track her down amiss the standard theatrics of high school. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, written with author David Levithan, documents the collision of two boys with the same name as they navigate their way through high school. The Fault in Our Stars chronicles the grand love story between a girl resigned to dying and boy who just wants to feel alive. He also collaborated with authors Maureen Johnson (whom we’ve also spoken about!) and Lauren Myracle for the book Let it Snow, which features love stories with a hint of holiday magic.
Why should you read him?
The thing about Green’s novels is that they have a certain wit and humor that is hard to find in most books, even outside the YA realm. He tends to write about high school and the teenage years in general from the perspective of characters we normally don’t get to know that well, like the boy prodigy, the outcast, etc. His books also don’t shy away from difficult topics, such as cancer in The Fault in Our Stars.
What should you start with?
I strongly believe that anyone new to Green’s work should start off with reading Looking for Alaska. Unfortunately, this book has been a bit overshadowed due to The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns being turned into movies, but this novel has always been my favorite of his. It also happens to be the first novel he ever published.