Author John Green called out an Indianapolis area library on Wednesday for its decision to remove his hit novel “The Fault in Our Stars” from its young adult section.
The Hamilton East Public Library, which has locations in Fishers and Noblesville, Indiana, released a list of fiction books that as of July have been removed or moved from its YA section. The list named two of Green’s novels, including “The Fault in Our Stars.”
In a tweet on Wednesday, Green responded to news of the books’ removal, calling it “ludicrous” and an “embarrassment to the city” of Fishers.
“The Fault in Our Stars has been removed from the YA section in the suburbs of Indianapolis and is now considered a ‘book for adults.’ This is ludicrous,” he wrote. “It is about teenagers and I wrote it for teenagers. Teenagers are not harmed by reading [“The Fault In Our Stars”].”
The book removals are related to an effort brought forward by the library’s board in December, which implemented a policy requiring books that are deemed not “age-appropriate” for children to be removed from the YA section and relocated to the adult section.
The board also ordered an extensive review process, which was expected to cost up to $300,000, to determine if books are age-appropriate to be shelved in the children or teen sections.
Age-appropriateness, under the policy, is determined based on criteria related to nudity, alcohol and drug use, violence and sexual content. The criteria was later expanded to include a list of profanity and criminal acts.
According to IndyStar, the policy was expected to impact “more than 18,000 books” in the library. By April, its teen section was nearly emptied as a result of the library’s review process, with books on puberty, comics and “Forever” by Judy Blume disappearing from the shelves. Still, the book review process is far from complete, with 74.4% of titles still requiring review as of July 27.
“I only have a small voice in these decisions, of course, but you won’t catch me alive or dead in Fishers, Indiana until these ridiculous policies are revoked,” Green tweeted on Wednesday.
The Hamilton East Public Library did not respond to HuffPost’s request to comment on Green’s criticism.
Libraries across the country have been conducting similar reviews and removing books from young adult sections that they deem harmful to minors, a move that has largely targeted books about race and LGBTQ+ topics. In 2022, the number of book ban attempts surged, and the number of book challenges nearly doubled from the previous record in 2021.
Librarians have also faced harassment and legal threats as a result of these book bans. This year, Indiana enacted a law that allows for school librarians to be criminally charged if they fail to comply with House Bill 1447, which calls for a ban on “harmful materials” in school libraries. At least four other states passed similar legislation.
“Today and every day I am so, so grateful to librarians whose work is absolutely essential to making art and information available to all―even amid absurdly difficult working conditions. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” Green tweeted later on Wednesday.