On April 1, American author John Green took to social media to ask his readers for help. His Michael L. Printz Award winning book, Looking For Alaska, is once again, under strict scrutiny and he is asking his fans to help him defend it and the wonderful message it entails.
The young-adult fiction novel is very popular amongst readers, and has won many awards since it was published in 2005. The coming of age story has been used in many high schools and colleges throughout the years and teaches a very valuable lesson on the meaning of life and adolescence. Despite this, the book often receives criticism for being too “graphic” in several scenes, and it has happened yet again.
A teacher at Marion County High School in Kentucky sent permission slips home with her senior English class requesting their approval for the teaching of Looking for Alaska. Several parents did not agree with this and are now taking action to get the book removed from the school. Not only this, but the parents believe that the teacher should be removed from her position and a letter will be put in the local paper calling her out for her “shameful” actions. Green stated on Facebook that parents are “reading only certain excerpts from the book claiming that it is ‘pornographic’ and ‘erotic’ without reading the whole book.” This novel is so special because it does not hide from the truth, but embraces it and the real-life struggles of heartbreak and loss. School’s continuously use the novel for educational purposes, and Green strongly believes that his books should be read “critically and thoughtfully as a whole, rather than focusing on individual scenes ripped from their context.” Green does not want his work seen as something it is not, and does not wish to see a teacher removed for teaching about it.
John Green is continuing to defend his book and this time he wants his fans to help. He is requesting for civil emails to be sent to the Marion County High School to stand by the teacher and her curriculum. He expressed that “this is not the first time Looking for Alaska has been challenged, nor will it be the last.” In fact, Green uploaded a Youtube video in 2008 to address this same issue and the results were extremely positive. John Green is going to continuously defend his book and the deep, beautiful meaning behind it.
What are your thoughts on Looking for Alaska and this situation? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @CelebMix!