Tuesday, July 15, 2014

His name is John Green and if you know young teenagers who read books, chances are that they know his work and that they love this guy and love his work.  His videos on YouTube have been viewed 1 ½ billion times.  His latest book has been on the New York  Times best seller list for   123 weeks.  His live appearances sell out in minutes and you probably never heard of him.  He is 36 years old and the father of two kids.  He is an ordinary looking guy and I want to   know how he manages to inspire teenagers?  I can’t even inspire my teens to put towels in the   laundry.
This guy is a cult hero to millions of teenagers.  He has written four books including his biggest book ever called The Fault in Our Stars.  The movie version is about to open.  John Green’s own story began in Orlando Florida.  He said that he was a troubled kid who was anxious and depressed.  He felt very socially isolated at times but was still intellectually stimulated.  Then came   college, enrollment at divinity school, and a job at a children’s hospital in Chicago as a student chaplain.  While at the hospital he met sick children but they were   also so many other things like funny   and   angry and sad encompassing all the other emotions and wishes that we all have.

He spent years trying to put his hospital experiences into a book. In the meantime he published three other novels.  Then in 2008 he met a young teenage girl who was a fellow YouTube video maker who had thyroid cancer.  He met her, friended   her and was   changed by her.  She died in 2010 and her   name was Esther.  His relationship with her and respect for her became the story for his famous book called The Fault In   The Stars.  It is a funny and unsentimental book about   two teenagers that meet in a cancer support group and fall in love.

The book became a sensation.  It is a love story between two teenagers   that just   happen   to have cancer as well.  He has sold almost seven million copies of the book but millions of fans don’t know him   as John Green the author he is also known as a celebrity.  In 2007 he and his brother Hank began exchanging public video messages as a way of keeping in touch.  Most people do that in private, these two guys do it on YouTube so it has become a bit of a reality show.  Now the fans of John and Hank have their own inside jokes.  They call themselves Nerd Fighters.  Then there is the popular acronym DFTBA that stands for Don’t Forget to be Awesome.

The fans insist that they are not a cult but they do band together   for   charity.  He has orchestrated a 48 hour long telethon on YouTube called The Project for Awesome where   this year he has collected about $800,000.  Is there anything that’s not nice about this guy?  Even Laura  Dern  and the other actors  of the film love him.  A   movie of another John Green novel   called Paper Towns   is  already being done. He has proven that the traditional stereotype of teenagers is not true.  Parents believe that their kids are anti-social, are disengaged   and don’t care about the world.
John Green has been keeping them busy and has proven that teens are still reading, thinking and they do care about a lot of things.  He says he is inspired every day by their intellectual curiosity.  All parents should be thanking him for keeping our   teenagers interested   in something positive.

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