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The brothers had signature preoccupations, which they discussed with excitable urgency, talking into the camera at tremendous speed.

John discussed books, existential anxiety, and pizza; Hank was into science, math, and corn dogs.

We don’t acknowledge on a daily basis how much it matters.”Y. novels are peculiarly well suited to consideration of ethical matters.

It seems natural when a high schooler like Miles Halter, of “Looking for Alaska,” is depicted struggling to write essays on topics like “What is the most important question human beings must answer?

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.

They shared personal stories—John confessed that the only sports trophy he ever got was made by his parents, and bore the inscription “All-Star in Our Hearts”—but mainly they exchanged ideas.

Printz Award, the American Library Association’s honor for best Y. Upon graduating from Kenyon College, in 2000, Green had thought of going to divinity school, and he worked for six months as an apprentice chaplain at a children’s hospital in Columbus.

He found the experience almost too sad to bear, and decided that such a life was not for him.

His protagonists were sweetly intellectual teen-age boys smitten with complicated, charismatic girls.

Although the books were funny, their story lines propelled by spontaneous road trips and outrageous pranks, they displayed a youthfully insatiable appetite for big questions: What is an honorable life?

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