Green attended Indian Springs School, a boarding and day school outside of Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religious Studies. His first book, Looking for Alaska, was largely inspired by his time at Indian Springs School.
Green lived for several years after that in Chicago, where he worked for Booklist Magazine, a book review journal. While there, he reviewed hundreds of books of all varieties; his reviewing specialties included literary fiction, books about Islam, and books about conjoined twins. Green lived in New York City for two years while his wife attended graduate school. Green's book criticism has also appeared in The New York Times Books Review. Green has also written for National Public Radio's All Things Considered,for Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, and for the now defunct internet magazine KnotMag.
John Green and his brother Hank ran a video blog project called Brotherhood 2.0. The original project ran from January 1 to December 31, 2007, with the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based ("textual") communication for the year and instead converse by video blogs, made available to the public via YouTube (where they are known as the "vlogbrothers") and on their Brotherhood 2.0 website.
The vlogs have several recurring themes:
"Nerdfighters" is the official name for a group of self-proclaimed nerds who fight "world suck". The community established by John, Hank and the Nerdfighters is often referred to as "Nerdfighteria".
The opposite of a Nerdfighter is known as a Decepticon. (Named after the infamous enemies of the Autobots Transformers based on their shared characteristic of being a team of villains as opposed to a single villain with many subservient henchmen.)
Every so often John takes on "Question Tuesdays" (that can really be on any day of the week) where he answers some of their commenters' questions.
The Foundation to Decrease WorldSuck was created with the intention to "decrease worldsuck" by donating money that is given to the foundation to worthy causes.
The Evil Baby Orphanage was a proposal to use a time machine to kidnap historical despots in infancy (e.g., baby Hitler) and pre-habilitate them at a mountain retreat in Tibet.
Hank used to post amusing songs every other Wednesday (hence the day being called "Song Wednesday"). The most famous of these, "Accio Deathly Hallows", was the first Brotherhood 2.0 video to be featured on the YouTube front page.
"The Yeti" is a nickname for John's wife, Sarah, who has never appeared but once very briefly on the vlog (John, when asked why, insists that "her cute would break the camera"), although viewers will sometimes hear her voice or see an occasional appendage. However, Hank's wife Katherine (sometimes referred to as "The Katherine") will occasionally appear.
Viewers who post unkind things on the YouTube comments have been given the name "Giant Squids of Anger" and are not considered Nerdfighterly.
"In Your/My Pants" was a term created by fellow YA author Maureen Johnson and was originally intended to be added to the end of a book title (e.g., Pooh Gets Stuck... In My Pants). It grew to be the name of a forum on the Nerdfighters website and an online picture book "Everyone Poops In My Pants".
Perhaps most noticeably to non-Nerdfighters, John and Hank created an annual YouTube charity project called The Project for Awesome (P4A for short), a project in which YouTube users take one day (December 17th) out of their year to create a video promoting a charity of their choosing. The 3rd P4A, in 2009, dominated the YouTube popularity charts, ending the event with not a single non-P4A video appearing on approximately the first half a dozen pages of the lists for Most Viewed, Most Commented, and Most Favorited. In addition, at one point the hashtag #P4A reached the number one trending topic on Twitter, and remained on the list without fail throughout the entire event.
Vlogbrothers after Brotherhood 2.0
In December 31, 2007 video, the brothers revealed their decision to continue vlogging even though the project had ended. Following the conclusion of Brotherhood 2.0, a website was set up for the Nerdfighters at http://www.nerdfighters.com. The website was originally maintained solely by Hank Green, but is now updated and moderated by a group of Nerdfighter volunteers called the "Ningmasters". New projects, videos and discussions, as well as groups and forums entirely made by the Nerdfighters themselves, are uploaded every day. The brothers' videos continue to be the basis of the international community of Nerdfighteria.
The duo also created a sub-project of Vlogbrothers called Truth or Fail (official site), a game show that is most frequently hosted by Hank but also sometimes by guest hosts. The channel can also be found on YouTube.
Starting 21 January 2010, Green went on paternity leave and "Secret Sister" Maureen Johnson took his place until 10 February 2010. John's only vlog during that period was 28 January 2010, when he read from J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, as the author had died that day; Green's Alaska narrator, Miles, is frequently compared to the narrator of Catcher, Holden Caulfield, and the Salinger novel is considered the epitome of the adolescence-driven novel.
Green "introduced" his son Henry Green upon his return to vlogging on 15 February 2010.
Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska (2005), won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association, and made the ALA 2005 Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults. The film rights to Looking for Alaska were purchased by Paramount in 2005 and the movie scheduled to be released in 2013.
His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines (2006), was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and may also be made into a movie in the future.
Green collaborated on a book with fellow young adult authors Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle called Let It Snow (2008), which contains three interconnected short stories that take place in the same small town on Christmas Eve during a massive snowstorm. The story that he penned is called "A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle". On November 27, 2009, the book reached number 10 on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback children's books.
Green's third novel, Paper Towns, was released on October 16, 2008. It debuted at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list for children's books, and the movie rights to Paper Towns have been optioned by Mandate Pictures and Mr. Mudd. Green was hired to write the Paper Towns screenplay. On April 30, 2009, Paper Towns was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the 2010 Corine Literature Prize.
Green has collaborated with fellow young adult writer and friend David Levithan on a book entitled Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which was released April 6, 2010. John Green appeared on the sixty-first episode of Smart Mouths Podcast to discuss Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
In August 2009, Green confirmed he was writing a new book, titled The Sequel, with an expected release in 2011. On a BlogTV show, he announced that he had scrapped The Sequel, before reading an excerpt from his new novel, tentatively titled Everything is Surrounded by Water.
Green currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Sarah (also known as "The Yeti" in his video blogs, due to her request not to be seen on camera), his son Henry, and his dog, a West Highland Terrier, named Willy (full name Fireball Wilson Roberts). According to his blog entry of May 16, 2007, Green was born in Indianapolis, but his family moved three weeks after he was born. He has also lived in East Lansing, Michigan; Birmingham, Alabama; Orlando, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and New York City.
During a video released on December 15, 2009, Green revealed that he and his wife were expecting their first child. The baby, named Henry Atticus Green, after John's grandfather, was born on January 20, 2010 and weighed eight pounds nine ounces.