Friday, January 9, 2009

Author Spotlight: John Green

It was John Green's childhood ambition to be an oligochaetologist. (That's an earthworm scientist, to the uninitiated.) However, young John proved to have "a general inability to care for pets," resulting in the demise of his entire earthworm farm. 

So, he made a list of his strengths: "telling lies," and "sitting" among them. From this list sprang the determination that he should become...a writer.

After graduating from Kenyon College with a double major in English and Religious Studies, Mr. Green spent six months as a student chaplain at a children's hospital - from which experience sparked the idea that eventually became his first novel, Looking for Alaska (2006). Following his student chaplain days, he wrote reviews for Booklist Magazine, as well as for the New York Times Book Reviews. He has also written for National Public Radio's All Things Considered, the Chicago radio station WBEZ, and often writes for mental floss magazine.

John Green is the only writer recognized twice by the American Library Association's Printz Committee (the young adult genre's equivalent to the Caldecott and Newbery). Looking for Alaska won the Michael L. Printz Award, and his second novel, An Abundance of Katherines (2006) won the Michael L. Printz Honor.

His latest novel, Paper Towns (2008), debuted at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller List for children.

In addition to his printed works, Green is known along with his brother Hank for their popular YouTube video blog project: Brotherhood 2.0. It began through an agreement between the brothers that they would spend one year (January 1 - December 31, 2007) eschewing text communications, and conversing exclusively by video. They broke the pact nine times, and so did penance via "comically bizarre punishments," such as trying to give away 200 Peeps in downtown Missoula. Of course, those punishments were posted to the video blog as well. Though the initial project has ended, the brothers still post video at least once a week.

Born in 1977, John Green grew up in Orlando, Florida, then moved to Alabama to attend boarding school. Following college in Ohio, and working in Chicago and New York, Green now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife, Sarah.

Sources:
John Green - Bio & Contact (*This link has been removed because it no longer goes where it did in 2009. As of 4/19/2013, it now goes to some search site for "head lice." Weird.)
John Green - official site: About + Contact info (*This link had been added on 4/19/2013, to replace the weird one above.)

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