I first encountered Green’s books after I took a course on children’s literature in graduate school in 2012. One of the final sections of the class featured banned and challenged books, and I selected Looking for Alaska, not knowing anything about Green or his books. I really enjoyed the novel, and though I hadn’t attended a boarding school like Miles and Alaska, felt a sense of understanding at Miles’ awkward and anxious high school experiences. I recall reading it and thinking, Okay, so what’s wrong with it?!
Meridian School District pulls Looking for Alaska from middle school libraries; The fallout from Florida’s school censorship law; What is access without equity?
Some students were restricted from exploring ‘the Great Perhaps.’ John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ ranked No. 6 on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016.
With the recent publication of ALA’s Top 10 Challenged Books list, we saw some recurring titles, as well as new entries. Returning to the list is, Looking for Alaska by John Green, often challenged for its offensive language, sexually explicit scenes, and claims that it is generally unsuited for the age group. Since its publication in 2005, and despite its popularity with critics and readers, plus a laundry list of accolades (i.e. Winner, 2006 Michael L. Printz Award, 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, A Kirkus Best Book of 2005, and many more), the novel continues its reign as one of the most popular banned books.
May 5, 2016 – Intellectual Freedom and Minors webinar with Chris Crutcher; New Library Privacy Guidelines for Students in K-12 Schools; Looking for Alaska retained in Kentucky; This One Summer banned in Minnesota; Internet Filters and so much more.
In Kentucky, readers rejoice. At tonight’s open reconsideration committee meeting, Emily Veatch defended the right for her students to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was supported by librarians all over the country and right there in Lebanon. Marion County Public Librarians attended the meeting with buttons, t-shirts, and signs opposing the censorship of this book in the entire high school. And they succeeded!
The reconsideration committee for Marion County High School will be meeting on Monday, May 2nd @ 4pm EST. This is an open meeting and we need your support!
Letters to the Editor are more important than you might think. They show support for the librarians and teachers involved, they highlight the quality of the book and intellectual freedom, and most importantly they publicly show an individual’s willingness to stand up for the First Amendment and the right to read.
After compiling the list of the 2015 Top Ten Challenged Books, the staff at the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) noticed that once again, a high percentage of the titles fell into the category of “diverse content.” What do we mean by diversity?
Nerdfighters Unite! Author, John Green, has put out a call for action against censorship. On Friday, April 1st he alerted his huge fan base on social media to a challenge at Marion County High School in Kentucky.