Break out all of the John Green novels, because it is going to be his 42nd birthday on August 24! (In case you haven’t already realized: he will be 4-2 on 2-4, which makes it even more special!)
This YA king blessed us with bestsellers such as Looking For Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault In Our Stars, with these specific three out of his six books (not counting his Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances collab-book with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle) either having beloved adaptations already or, in the case of the former, will have one as soon as October 18 to be uploaded onto Hulu, stated to be “very faithful” to the original material.
While we all love the books he puts out, do we all know the man bearing the name on the books?
Initially born in Indianapolis, the same town in which he set The Fault In Our Stars, John Michael Green moved around a lot over the years, first to Michigan, then to Birmingham, Alabama, and finally to Orlando, Florida, the very town in which Paper Towns takes place before Q and the gang take their trip to Agloe, New York to track down the MIA Marco Roth Spiegelman! In fact, the very school from which he graduated, Indian Springs just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, was the inspiration behind the school depicted in Looking For Alaska!
Note for aspiring authors: it is never wrong to set your works in places you are already familiar with!
While he originally intended to be an Episcopal priest, as he double-majored in English and religious studies while attending Kenyon College, it was from working as a student chaplain at a children’s hospital in Ohio that inspired him to be a author, along with the idea he would eventually use in his 2012 tear-jerking novel The Fault In Our Stars.
Note for early college students: if you have the opportunity to pursue more than one academic area and you are still torn as to what to study, whether a double-major or just a minor to add to your major, it is never wrong to have a back-up!
Green spent several years in Chicago working as a publishing assistant and production editor for Booklist at around the time he was writing Looking For Alaska, then later lived in New York City for two years while his wife Sarah Urist was attending grad school. Now, both of them and their two children live together back in the town where his whole life started: Indianapolis!
Also, if you practically live on YouTube, then you probably came across VlogBrothers, the channel he launched alongside his brother Hank, who is also an author and recently wrote his debut novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, as well as their CrashCourse videos on Literature, History, Science, Psychology, and several other subjects that couldn’t otherwise be learned the same, boring, old-fashioned way in school, likely causing you to binge-watch these vids instead!
So, if you have been all over his YouTube channels, then you are already aware that Green has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which was the basis of his most recent book Turtles All The Way Down, and you likely saw the videos in which he discusses his struggles with the disorder, such as this one…
On a final note, while there are two days dedicated to Green in both his birthplace Indianapolis and his home-state Florida in Orange County by their respective mayors, there is only one true day to celebrate the life of the YA legend John Green, and that is this Saturday, August 24…
Happy Birthday, John Green, and may your infinity be as long as possible, gracing us with your quirky presence, on YouTube and in-person at the many BookCons to come, as well as more YA books that are both groundbreaking and worth cherishing!
Featured Image via The Times