"Paper Towns" too graphic for 8th grader to read, Pasco County mother says

(WFTS) A Pasco County mother says one of the books on her child’s summer reading list was too graphic. The school system has agreed, removing the book for certain students.
The summary of the book, “Paper Towns” by John Green, seems harmless enough, but the first four chapters contain sexual references, racist language and terms JoAnne Corcoran thinks her 13-year-old should not be reading.
"She went and bought the book, and she came to me because there were some words in there she did not understand,” she said.
In the first few chapters are words like masturbation and some hate terms. 
Paper Towns topped the list of books Hope Corcoran received to read this summer as an incoming Dr. John Long Middle School eighth grader.
The instructions from the Wesley Chapel school said to mark items to discuss and be prepared to do a possible book report. 
"I think it's not the book that I want her to do a book report on. That is for sure,” JoAnne Corcoran said.
An assistant superintendent for Pasco County schools expressed concern the book might be too racy for someone coming into eighth grade.
After Corcoran questioned the choice, Pasco County schools removed the book from the list. 
Still, old lists already went out to hundreds of parents of Dr. John Long Middle School students. 
The author is known for pushing the envelope for teenage audiences. 
“Paper Towns” will open as a movie next year. 
Green's book “The Fault In Our Stars” just came out as a movie. In an interview with 20th Century Fox, Green talked about how he challenges teens and adults.
"The wonder of grappling with all of these great things while we are also having to ask the big questions about suffering and meaning in life. That's something we are all doing," he said. 
Corcoran wants her kids to expand their knowledge and be challenged, but she said there needs to be a balance based on age.
"Let’s put it this way. I want to preserve my daughter’s innocence as long as I can,” she said. “I think when she is an adult and makes her own decisions, that is different."


Print this article Back to Top