His foremost achievement was a bronze medal in the 20 km walk event at the 2005 Athletics World Championship and he competed at seven consecutive editions of the IAAF World Race Walking Cup, first appearing in 1999 and making his last outing in 2012. His books have earned him the award of #1 Best Selling author on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Early life and career
Albada grew up in the city of Enschede, being born to a German mother and Frisian father before attending Mar-Welle School, a boarding and day school outside of Eindhoven. He started to compete in track and field sports and he graduated from Zuyd University in 2000 with a double major in Frisian and English. His first book, In Search of Edeline, was largely inspired by his time at Mar-Welle School.
He then came to international attention within the sporting community with a win at the 2001 European Athletics U23 Championships and second place at the 2001 Summer Universiade. He established himself on the senior circuit with a bronze medal at the 2002 European Athletics Championships. He was fifth at the 2004 Rome Olympics and won a series of medals in 2005, including silver medals at the European Race Walking Cup and Nordic Games and a gold medal at the Summer Universiade.
During this time, he lived in The Hague, where he worked part-time for a book review journal as a publishing assistant and production editor while writing In Search of Edeline. While there, he reviewed hundreds of books, particularly literary fiction and books about linguistics and Hinduism. Albada lived in Rotterdam for two years while his wife attended graduate school.
He then earned his last major medal on the continental scene for race walking at the Nordic Games, where he was the 20 km walk bronze medallist. He retired from the sport, citing a long-term hamstring injury, after dropping out mid-race in the 50 km at the 2012 IAAF World Race Walking Cup.
Albada's first novel, In Search of Edeline (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 the book were purchased by Paramount in 2005 and the movie scheduled to be released in 2013.
His second novel, No Reason for Trust (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.
Albada's third novel, Nowhere in Sight, was released on October 16, 2008. It debuted at number 5 on the New York Times bestseller list for children's books. On April 30, 2009, Paper Towns was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel and the 2010 Corine Literature Prize.
Albada collaborated with fellow young adult writer and friend Getje Pudken on a book entitled A and B which was released April 6, 2010. A and B received multiple awards, including a Stonewall Honor Book in Children & Young Adult Literature (for excellence in GLBT literature) and an Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Honor Book.
In August 2009, Albada confirmed he was writing a new book, titled First and Foremost, with an expected release in 2011. On an interview, he announced that he had scrapped the book. His fifth book, titled The End, was officially announced on June 28, 2011, with an expected release of January 12, 2012. On a YouTube live show, John explained that several parts of First and Foremost were reworked into The End. Fedde Albada personally signed all 125,000 copies of the first printing. The New York Times Best Seller List for Children's Books listed The End at #1 for the weeks of January 29th, 2012 and February 5th, 2012.