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John Green quote ‘You won’t catch me alive or dead in Fishers’ turned into T-shirt

(Image Provided/Raygun)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new T-shirt calling out the Hamilton East Public Library Board’s decision to reshelve some books from the teen section to adult circulation is available for purchase online.

The $24.95 T-shirt quotes part of Indianapolis author John Green’s now-deleted social media post where he said, “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. Which I guess means no Top Golf or IKEA for a while.”

It was posted as a follow-up to his original tweet calling out the library board, which circulates items from facilities in Fishers and Noblesville, for its Collection Development Policy that requires strict attention be given to nudity, alcohol and drug use, profanity, violence, and sexual content before a book is placed in the children or teen sections.

Green’s most popular book, “The Fault in Our Stars,” was reshelved for violating the updated terms of the policy. The book was made into a 2014 movie that was rated PG-13 and reportedly grossed $307.2 million.

The Hamilton East policy overrides publisher, author and librarian recommendations on where to shelve books.

“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,” Green said on social media. “It is about teenagers and I wrote it for teenagers. Teenagers are not harmed by reading TFIOS. This is such an embarrassment to the city of @FishersIN.”

Des Moines, Iowa-based Raygun is a printing, design and clothing company with stores in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest, not including Indianapolis. Raygun made the T-shirt with permission from John Green. The product description said that Green “feels bad because he knows a lot of good people in Fishers!”

Raygun also say it’s sharing a portion of sales with the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis.

Green followed his original tweet about the policy by sending a letter to the library board. He shared screengrabs of the letter in a social media post that said, “My reply to the board members of @FishersIN and @NoblesvilleIN seeking to remove my books (and over a hundred others) from the young adult literature shelves in their libraries. Heartbreaking for this to happen in Central Indiana, where I live and strive to support.”

Letter from John Green to Hamilton East Library Board


“I’m John Green, resident of Indianapolis and author of The Fault in Our Stars, Turtles All the Way Down, and other novels for teenagers. A community member gave me your emails; I hope you won’t mind my reaching out. Feel free to email me here or call me at (redacted phone number).

“I know that some of you are very business-focused, so here’s some business: I’ve sold more than 40,000,000 books as a resident of Central Indiana, which has been good news for the tax revenue of this state and the local economy more generally. (We are, after all, home to the world’s largest book warehousing operation.) The Fault in Our Stars is the best selling book ever to be set in Indiana, and has driven considerable tourism to our shared community. I’m also the cofounder and CEO of an e-commerce company and the educational media company Complexly, which between them employ over 115 people, several of whom live in Fishers or Noblesville.

“I am your neighbor. And I am absolutely horrified by the decision of some members of your board to override a huge body of expertise and deem hundreds of books – including mine – inappropriate to be shelved as Young Adult Literature. One of the novels you’ve pulled off the shelves won the Michael L Printz Award as the best Young Adult novel according to the leading librarians in the U.S. Another was awarded the Corinne Book Prize, the highest award for young adult literature in Germany. Other books on the list, including Judy Blume’s Forever and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, are widely viewed as classics of Young Adult literature. And more to the point, librarians and teachers in our community–the highly-trained experts Fishers and Noblesville pay with public money–agree that these books should be shelved as Young Adult literature, which is precisely why they were until your shameful intervention.

“It’s political theater of the lowest and most embarrassing order, and it’s an awful way to have Fishers and Noblesville make national news.

“As a business owner, I’m infuriated by your third-rate vice signalling that complicates efforts to bring business and talent here. As a parent, I’m disgusted by your disregard for the professionalism and expertise of teachers and librarians. As a Hoosier author, I am deeply offended by your inaccurate and hurtful portrayal of my work. And as a citizen, I am so disappointed that you would use public time and public resources to engage in work that actively harms the public through censorship, defacto and otherwise.

“I implore you to walk this awful policy back and allow the real experts to decide where to shelve my books and those of my colleagues.

“Thank you for your time,

“John Green”

John Green’s letter to the Hamilton East Public Library Board rearing the updated collection development policy

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