Author John Green: Teenagers Think the Big Questions in Life Matter

SMW, June 2, 2014 3:19 PM


Why Do We Give Them Short-Shrift?

by C.J. Westerberg

I've written previously about my brain crush on author John Green and of course dove into  this week's The Teen Whisperer:  How the author of "The Fault in Our Stars" built an ardent army of fans by Margaret Talbot just in time for the movie based on the aforementioned book will be released on the big screen this summer.

 Here's a glimpse of what Green does so well:

Green was more forgiving toward adults than Salinger was, but he shared Salinger's conviction that they underestimate the emotional depth of adolescents. Green told me, "I love the intensity teen-agers bring not just to first love but also to the first time you're grappling with grief, at least as a sovereign being . . . the first time you're taking on why people suffer and whether there's meaning in life, and whether meaning is constructed or derived. Teen-agers feel that what you conclude about those questions is going to matter. And they're dead right. It matters for adults, too, but we've almost taken too much power away from ourselves. We don't acknowledge on a daily basis how much it matters."

As a parent, I've witnessed Green as fan-generating phenom through my daughter's interaction with others about Fault in Our Stars, and making it "required reading" by moi, not exactly an arduous task.
If you haven't read Fault, do.  As Talbot puts it:

In a different era, "The Fault in Our Stars" could have been that kind of cultish book. For many young people today, however, reading is not an act of private communion with an author whom they imagine vaguely, if at all, but a prelude to a social experience . . . following the author on Twitter, meeting other readers, collaborating with them on projects, writing fan fiction. In our connected age, even books have become interactive phenomena.

Haven't seen a Green vlog?  Below are two of the "learning" variety - others are just plain quirky and fun about random topics.

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It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
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