banned in ya

John Green on People Trying to Ban His Book at His Old School

Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube

Once again, the political is getting all kinds of personal. John Green, author of hella young adult fiction, made a TikTok about finding out that people are looking to ban his book Looking for Alaska. A book-banning in 2022? How quirky and novel. But what makes this banning extra special for Green is that the schools being targeted are ones he actually attended. “You know what’s weird?” Green asked, “When one of the candidates for school board in the school district where you were once a student wants to ban your first novel from all schools and libraries in that school district.” Green made the video with a story from My News 13 as his background, in which it is reported that Alicia Farrant is seeking to remove Let’s Talk About It and Looking for Alaska from Orange County school libraries. “We have morals and values,” Farrant said. “There are thousands of parents with high standards who try everything that they can to make sure that their kids that don’t have access to things that are encouraging them to go and have sex.”

“It’s weird on a few levels,” Green said. “For one thing, I know some of the people involved. Like, I remember you from middle school.” Green also critiqued the ironic name of Farrant’s group, Moms for Liberty, which he views as seeking to constrain the reading liberty of others. He also objects to the salacious take on his book. “I just don’t think Looking for Alaska is pornography,” he says, “and I think reading it that way is a little weird. So, yeah, please don’t ban my books in my hometown. It’s really upsetting for my mom. She has to deal with all these people talking to her on Facebook now.”

John Green: Don’t Ban My Book at My Old School