John Green has been on a roll these past two years. So much of a roll. Really, it’s more like a hot cross bun, that roll. Not only did he write his bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, which debuted January 2012 in the number one slot on the New York Times Bestseller list and held that position for seven weeks, but he also premiered “Crash Course,” an informational/educational Youtube series; hosted and participated in the Evening of Awesome to commemorate the one year anniversary of The Fault in Our Stars’ release; had that same novel greenlit for a movie deal and saw the beginnings of the film’s casting; led his Nerdfighter Kiva group to over $2,000,000 in loans to entrepreneurs in third world countries; had a(nother) child; and even got to chat with the President on a Google+ hangout.
Not necessarily in that order.
Green’s a force in the young adult literary world, with his novels winning Printz awards and other accolades, and deservedly so. Marketed as children’s chapter books and young adult novels, these stories are so much more, transcending age to reach even the most hardened of us with some pretty true truthisms about growing up and what it is like to actually be a teenager. Clever, funny, real, and flawed, his characters leap off the page as people you might have known, or do. So there’s plenty to admire from a writing standpoint alone. And of course, the novels allow Green the freedom and the position to reach so many and give so much.
But it’s Green’s passion and compassion that make him such a fantastic ringleader for the geek-celebrating Nerdfighteria — a mindset more than a following — well-meaning individuals dedicated to “decreasing worldsuck” in usually creative and awesome ways. Awesome is the key word, as in “don’t forget to be”, with the iconic DFTBA! motto the rallying cry of Green and his loyal fanbase.
His mindset is key to his success and his effect on the projects he pours his heart into, a mindset I believe is shaped at its core by his maxim “Imagine others complexly.” It’s nice to read a good book by a talented, kind author. It’s even better to find out that author has more to offer the world than his words. John Green’s actions speak for themselves. DFTBA!