One of the most popular young adult novels of recent times has been banned in Riverside. The Riverside Unified School District has forbidden John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” in its middle school libraries.
The Riverside Unified School District’s book reconsideration committee voted to remove three copies of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” from the library shelves of Frank Augustus Miller Middle School and to forbid its inclusion at other middle school libraries in the district. Even donations of the book are not to be accepted.
FOR THE RECORD
Sept. 30, 8 a.m.: An earlier version of this post said that the school board voted to remove John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” from middle school libraries. It was the Riverside Unified School District’s book reconsideration committee
The ban comes after a complaint from a parent that the book contains profanity and references to sex.
Green responded to the ban on his Tumblr page, after a fan asked for his reaction:
“I guess I am both happy and sad,” he writes. “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.”
Green jokingly continues, “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.”
Green is possibly the most popular author of young adult fiction in America today. The movie adaptation of “The Fault in Our Stars” was a hit with critics and audiences, and three of his other works are also being adapted into films: “Let It Snow,” “Paper Towns,” and “Looking for Alaska.”
Yet Green’s books are frequently challenged by schools and libraries. His novel “An Abundance of Katherines” was suspended recently by a Highland Park, Texas, school district, along with books by Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison and Jeannette Walls. Last night, the superintendent of the school district reversed that ban and apologized for suspending the books.