John Greene is not a stranger to having his YA books banned or challenged, but I find it rather humorous, ironic, and unfortunate that on the heels of Banned Books Week that The Fault in Our Stars has been banned from the middle schools of the Riverside Unified School District in Riverside, CA.
The parent that lodged the complaint, and was successful at rallying teachers and principals together to get it pulled said she:
felt the morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content was inappropriate for her children.
Key words, “for her children.” If she felt The Fault in Our Stars was inappropriate for her children, why should she be allowed to dictate what other children are reading.
If she felt the plot to be too morbid because someone is dying and someone dies, well. . . I’m sorry to inform you that that is a fact of life and perhaps just perhaps this so-called morbid plot could open up a discussion between parent and child about mortality. As far as I’m concerned an 11 year old should have a working knowledge of death.
To the Moms and Dads out there, I hate to tell you but I bet ya your precious little angles have not only heard the language you consider crude, but have used it.
I get that parents don’t want their kids knowing about sex to early, but I guarantee at that age if they haven’t had sex they know of someone who has. Again this is an opportunity for parents to open up a dialogue with their preadolescent mini-me’s.
I completely understand wanting to protect your child from the evils of the world. I get that you don’t want them to grow up to quickly. You want them to enjoy being a kid; but we, adults, have to open up the dialogue about death, dying, sex, and many other sensitive topics.
Use it to your advantage. Use it as a spirng board to talk about those hard topics. Use it to find out how much your child really does know and how much they don’t know. Use it as a teachable moment. Use it as a bonding moment.
Don’t hide from it or run away from it, and say my child isn’t ready for this; especially if you haven’t broached the topic with them. Believe me when I say our children know and understand far more than we give them credit for. Give them the credit they deserve.