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John Green – The Fault In Our Stars

by on January 10, 2013

Teen librarians, and others interested in the Young Adult genre have known the name John Green for years. John’s first published book, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz award for Young Adult Literature. Since then he’s gone on to publish four other novels, a short story in the book Let it Snow, contributed to several anthologies, and, with his brother Hank Green, started the Nerdfighter community. According to John’s website, this community is dedicated to fighting for intellectualism and the decrease of world suck.

John has slowly built his following over the years.  In 2007 he and his brother, Hank, ceased textual communication and communicated mostly through videos they posted back and forth on their VlogBrothers YouTube channel. The channel now has over 850,000 subscribers and the videos have been viewed more than 276 million times. The brothers are also very active on twitter and tumblr. Through this use of social media John has built a following of devoted readers.  These readers are so devoted that they voted 5 of his books onto NPR’s list of the 100 Best Teen Novels. The Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars which has been used to fight poverty, and, according to John’s site, they planted thousands of tree for Hank’s 30th birthday.

John has been a well-respected teen author for many years, but until 2012 he was more of a Young Adult secret, but this year has changed all of that. John’s most recent book, The Fault in Our Stars, has exploded onto the book community. If any one book had to be chosen to represent the fiction of 2012, that book would be The Fault in Our Stars.  The book has been named: TIME Magazine’s #1 Fiction book of the year, a New York Time’s notable Children’s book, one of the Wall Street Journal’s best Children’s Books of the year, Entertainment Weekly’s best Fiction of the year, Goodreads Best Young Adult Book of the year, Indiebound’s #1 Children’s pick, Apples best Young Adult Novel e-book of the year, and more.

The Fault in Our Stars is described on Green’s website as “the story of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two Indianapolis teenagers who meet at a Cancer Kid Support Group,”  but to those who have read it, and loved it, the book is so much more. These readers see the book as being a story of life, grief, personal growth, love, and hope.

With all the awards The Fault in Our Stars has already won, I have to wonder if Mr. Green won’t be accepting a second Printz Award this coming year.