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Middle School Pulls 'The Fault In Our Stars' For Being Too Sexy
The Fault In Our Stars is being yanked from the shelves of Riverside middle schools after a parent complained about sex and saucy language in the book.
While the popular 2012 John Green young adult novel will remain in the high schools, Riverside Unified School District's book reconsideration committee voted 6-1 on Monday to ban the the book, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. In addition to removing existing copies, the school district will not allow the novel to be donated either.
The Fault in Our Stars is a sad and emotional story about two young cancer patients who fall in love after meeting in a support group. The novel was adapted into a film in starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in 2014, and many students requested the book. Karen Krueger, a Riverside parent, complained about the book after her daughter brought it home. Krueger said she didn't want to be seem like a prude, but didn't like the the graphic language in the book, or the part about a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy having sex.
Julie Boyes, a parent and a member of the committee, was the lone, dissenting vote. She pointed out that the 16-year-old girl in the book decides to have sex because she's dying. It was the dying part that had Betsy Schmechel, Arlington principal and committee member, concerned. She wasn't sure that 11 and 12 are appropriate ages to be thinking about one's impending mortality.
Meanwhile, The Cucamonga School District closed the Rancho Cucamonga Middle School library last week for a book audit after a parent complained about John Updike's Rabbit is Rich. Part of Updike's Rabbit series about fictitious former teen basketball star Harry "Rabbit" Angstrong, Rabbit is Rich is the third novel, taking place when Harry is a middle-aged, married man. The school didn't hold a review process for this particular book, as it is a highly sexual novel meant for adults.
Fittingly, we're in the middle of Banned Books Week, which takes place September 21-27 and celebrates those books that have been pulled from the shelves of public schools and libraries for their questionable content. According to their site, some of the most challenged titles in 2013 included 50 Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games and Captain Underpants. Historically, however, some of the most challenged titles include Of Mice and Men, The Catcher in the Rye and Daddy's Roommate.