Okay? Not okay.

The New York Times Bestseller "The Fault In Our Stars." (Photo courtesy of divabooknerd.com)

by Madison Hanlon

What if I told you that the most popular, tear jerking, romantic, and New York Times best-selling book, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, was banned from Riverside Unified School District’s middle schools in California.

According to Vanity Fair, parent Karen Kreuger thought that the book was inappropriate for children due to its morbid plot, crude language, and sexual content. In a 6-1 vote of a panel of teachers, parents, a librarian, and a principle, the committee decided to take the book off the middle school shelves. A member on the committee justified the action by saying, “The thing that kept hitting me like a tidal wave was these kids dealing with their own mortality, and how difficult that might be for an 11-year-old or 12-year-old reading this book.”

However, the book presents a greater amount of valuable life lessons to young people than the negative that Ms. Kreuger and the Riverside Unified School District claim. According to Bustle, the book teaches 7 valuable life lessons that every young person should know:

  1. Everyone you meet is fighting their own battles.
  2. It’s ok to feel your feelings.
  3. You are not defined by your illness.
  4. You can’t always get what you want.
  5. Things will never work out how you imagine, and that’s ok.
  6. You matter.
  7. Experience life.

At 11, 12, and 13 years old, kids might still believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy, but death is a concept that they understand. Exposing kids to the harsh, not so perfect part of life is something society should not be hesitant to do. Society has to teach people, old or young, about life and that is not always involving rainbows and butterflies.

Author John Green responded to the news saying: “I guess I am both happy and sad. I am happy because apparently young people in Riverside, California will never witness or experience mortality since they won’t be reading my book, which is great for them. But I am also sad because I was really hoping I would be able to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.”