Letter Envy

JohnGreen

This morning I wandered over to John Green’s blog and saw a letter he received a few days ago on his Bio page from a fan and have to re-post it here* because it’s just really gorgeous and makes me love the man who penned it and makes me wish I had teachers like this when I was in school, but more than anything it makes me hope I can have a similar effect on a reader someday.

Check it out:

 

Mr. Green–I am a 46 year old man writing a fan letter (or posting a fan comment). My 12-year-old daughter asked to read “Fault” so I picked it up to read before her (there were rumors of explicit sexuality–codenamed “culture” in our home–that had to be dispelled).

What can I gush, that hasn’t been gushed before, probably right here on this page? I haven’t read all the back comments. I haven’t read your bio, really, or watched any of your videos…Yet.

I’m not even sure that I will give my daughter the book…Yet. Am I ready for the squalls of tears that “Fault” will unleash? Hell, you practically had ME crying with Hazel’s occasional references to her dad’s crying….What dad wouldn’t cry to see his daughter suffer this way? I have a friend who lost a son to cancer almost 10 years ago, and I still don’t know what to say to him. And he doesn’t talk much about it either. On second thought, maybe I’m not his friend after all.

I’m a high school reading teacher. I spend my days coming up with new and exciting ways to force teens to open books and look at the words on them. They come up with new and relentless ways to thwart me in this (usually with the aid of personal electronics). So, I’ve read lots of “teen” literature, and I don’t blame students for not wanting to read it.

So, thanks for writing a book with not too many cuss words. For going easy on the “culture.” For quoting T.S. Eliot and . For finding something new to say about a horrifically real problem. Not the cancer, so much– I mean teenage love. And, for Hazel’s parents, who aren’t idiots, but just in unimaginable pain. For giving me a new arrow in my quiver of books to shoot at students. 🙂 Good job, you!

 

I know John Green doesn’t need any more accolades, folks already love the dude, but I’m going to say it anyway: Bravo, John! Rock on with your bad self.

 

* Am I even allowed to re-post this letter? I have no idea and certainly hope my doing so does not raise the ire of Mr. Green.

 

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