GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Eight books could be banned at Northview Public Schools after a community member raised concerns about them.
Northview Public Schools said the eight books are not required reading, but they are available to 7th- through 12th-grade students for optional reading.
According to online descriptions, some of the books include discussions of sexual activity, sexual abuse, race and the LGBTQ+ community.
These are the books being placed under review:
- “Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas
- “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel
- “Push” by Sapphire
- “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson
- “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison
- “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins
- “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews
- “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
“The Bluest Eye,” “Lawn Boy,” “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” all landed on the American Library Association’s top 13 most challenged books of 2022. Each book received dozens of challenges last year.
To begin reviewing each book, a closed-to-the-public committee meeting was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
News 8 was told the review process will take place over the next several weeks.
In a statement, Northview Public Schools said:
“At Northview Public Schools, we are dedicated to fostering and maintaining a strong partnership with the community we are proud to serve. As part of this commitment, the Board of Education has thoughtfully established a set of policies, guidelines and procedures designed to review instructional materials across the district. Having recently received a request from a community member to remove eight books available to students in grades 7-12 for optional reading, the district has established a complaint review committee, under Board Policy 9130, to review the books in question. The committee – consisting of members of the community, staff members, and two Board members – will conduct a thorough review of each book and present their recommendation to the interim superintendent. In our dedication to ensuring transparency, we will keep parents informed throughout the review process.”
The next Northview Public Schools board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 6 p.m.
According to the American Library Association, book challenges are on a record pace in 2023. In the first eight months of 2023, the ALA tracked 695 challenges to library materials and services, compared to 681 during the same time period last year.