Canada’s Freedom to Read Week (25.02.2007 – 03.03.2007)

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Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Books are removed from the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day. Free speech on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.

In the official website, you can find an elaborate challenged books list (which also informs the reasons these books are challenged) as well as materials to help promote the event.

From the challenged books list, I have read:

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Fear Street & Goosebump series by R. L. Stine

Other notable books challenged in the list are:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Bible
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Different Seasons by Stephen King
Sex by Madonna
Maxim for Men (magazine)
Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

An excellent link to complement this is Elaine Anderson’s Fahrenheit 451. She has come up with a wonderful idea called The Banned Book Challenge where you

Set a goal for yourself to read as many banned or challenged books as you wish between February 26 (Freedom to Read Week) and June 30, 2007. Visit the Pelham Public Library’s Fahrenheit 451: Banned Book Blog to set your goal and report on your progress. Just so you know you aren’t alone in this, I’ll let you know which “banned” authors are responding to the challenge to date.

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