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'I want these books out': Hudsonville parents get book off reading list due to content

'Half of a Yellow Sun' is a novel set amidst the backdrop of the Nigerian Civil War, which uses sexual and violent imagery
Banned Books
Posted at 5:46 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 17:57:52-05

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — A group of parents has successfully petitioned the Hudsonville Public School district to have a book removed from an optional reading list, due to content they found objectionable.

Half of a Yellow Son by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was included on an optional book club reading list for Juniors and seniors at Hudsonville High School. The book is a novel that takes place during the Nigerian Civil War during the 1960s and 1970s.

There is sexual and violent imagery throughout the book, which parents have voiced their concerns over during recent school board meetings.

“We are shocked and saddened at what Hudsonville deems appropriate in the disguise of educational merit,” a parent said during a January 20 meeting.

"I would go so far as to labeling them as pornographic,” another said that evening.

But there were some people who spoke up to advocate for students to have access to the book, including one Hudsonville teacher.

“I'm an advocate for books showing the tough reality of our world, and I’m an advocate for books that showcase diverse characters, all because I'm an advocate for our kids,” the middle school teacher said.

“My hope this evening is to encourage all of you to continue to see books as a learning tool that can be part of Hudsonville's solutions, not part of Hudsonville's problems.”

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