Photo: Courtesy of Dutton Books.
In honor of the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week, we recently ran through 17 commonly banned books. John Green's ode to teenage love and death, The Fault In Our Stars, was not on our list. Well, it turns out the seminal YA novel isn't immune to watchdog groups who deem it unsuitable for its intended readers. You know, teens.
The California town of Riverside has banned Green's novel — about a terminally ill teen who falls in love with a fellow patient — from all middle school classrooms. Apparently, those in charge were made uneasy about exposing students to universal truths like death and sex.
Green seemed unaware of the unusual development until a fan brought it to his attention via Tumblr ."What is your reaction to the news that the Riverside district has chosen to ban TFIOS from middle school libraries on the grounds that it deals with mortality and sex?" The fan wrote.
Green's response was priceless.
"I guess I am both happy and sad," he wrote. "I am happy because apparently young people in Riverside, California will never witness or experience mortality since they won’t be reading my book, which is great for them. But I am also sad because I was really hoping I would be able to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.”
Note to self: Don't ever piss off John Green.