Thursday, February 08, 2007

I <3 John Green!

So... remember Looking for Alaska? The 2006 Printz Award winner? A really, really good book that a lot of librarians (Susan included) got all gushy about?

The author of that book, John Green, is something of a rock star among librarians. First off, he's wicked cute, in a nerdy-preppy sort of way. Second, he's really, really funny. Third, he likes to fill out surveys on his webpage and MySpace to procrastinate, so you get to find out a lot about him, which librarians, who need to know everything, really like.

Although I wouldn't thought it was possible, John Green has become an even bigger celebrity in the library world than before. To begin with, his second book, An Abundance of Katherines was named a 2007 Printz Honor Book.

Colin Singleton is a former child prodigy who really wants two things: First, Colin wants a "Eureka" moment. Colin has been told all his life that he is destined for greatness. But as he got older, he realized that not all prodigies grow up to be geniuses. Some, wind up just plain normal -- something that Colin despises. To make himself stand out, he needs a "Eureka", a revolutionary discovery.

The other thing that Colin wants is a girl named Katherine to love him. Beginning when he was 8, Colin has had 19 girlfriends -- all named Katherine. The most recent, Katherine XIX, broke up with him on the night he graduated from high school, leaving him feeling like something had torn out a part of him.

It's only when his best friend, Hassan, takes Colin on a therapeutic road-trip, and the two wind up in Gutshot, Tennessee to visit the grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand does Colin have his Eureka moment -- The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will mathematically determine the future of romantic relationships.

How an Austrian archduke got buried in Tennessee, how the Theorem works and what Colin will do with a girl who's not named Katherine are all questions that make An Abundance of Katherines a great, funny, and sort of sweet read.

As if winning a major library award two years running isn't enough, John Green has also started a really cool video project. He and his brother Hank have agreed not to communicate by text for an entire year. So, no e-mail, snail mail, IM's, text messages or anything else that uses the written word. Instead, they send each other video blogs, which you can watch at the Brotherhood 2.0 website. You can see John getting "the call" about his Printz honor if you watch the January 22nd blog, but I recommend the February 5th blog, where John waxes his chin (don't ask). Just a warning, both of these blogs contain, ahem, "language".

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