Just wanted to add my voice to the zillions declaring that John Green is not a pornographer. Well, at least, not the John Green who wrote Looking for Alaska. There may be another one somewhere who is. I can not speak for all John Greens.
Maureen says it best:
In case you have never read Looking for Alaska, I’ll tell you what happens in the scene that likely caused the drama. Pudge, the main character, has one of his first sexual experiences in the book—and it does not go well, largely because neither he nor the girl he has with really have any idea what they are doing. It is a funny scene which shows just how awkward some of these moments in life can be. But it does have some sexual interaction in it, albeit of a very poor quality. It has human body parts.
Having discussed this scene many times with John, I know he finds these complaints to be ridiculous. Because that scene in Looking for Alaska? It’s pretty much the opposite of pornographic. It’s fumbling and embarrassing and hilarious. It’s not cool. It’s not slick. You don’t read it and think, “I want to do something JUST LIKE THAT.”
John Green tells the whole story—the book is being taught to eleventh graders who need a signed permission letter from their parents and it’s the parent of a ninth graders who’s trying to stop John’s book being taught at all—and defends himself most excellently and wittily here. If you want to help here’s what you can do:
There are many supporters of the book among teachers, administrators, librarians, and the school board in Depew.1 To help them, I’m asking people to email letters of support for the book at sparksflyup–at–gmail.com.
Also, if you live in Depew, the book will be discussed at the Depew Board of Education meeting on February 5th at the Depew High School Auditorium at 7 PM.
I’m writing one right now.
- Where the book is being challenged. [↩]