This is Freedom to Read week. While we may not give it much thought, the 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. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Those requests rarely make headlines – they often don’t even make the news – but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read. They also have a direct and sometimes devastating impact on the livelihoods of writers.
If you have the time and the inclination, you might like to check out the following links.
Here, Victoria author and friend Robin Stevenson details what happened when her book was banned in the middle of a book tour in Illinois. Ultimately, the experience gave her more of a platform to get her message out: https://www.freedomtoread.ca/articles/canadian-author-of-kid-activists-speaks-up-about-school-cancellation-controversy/
Next, is YA author Bill Konigsberg responding to parents who have called to have his books banned from school libraries: https://billkonigsberg.com/an-open-letter-to-parents-who-wish-to-ban-my-books-from-school-libraries/?fbclid=IwAR3VxJkkc4E3Kg_dJfvhkTYe-3QeseXYmvsi7H7YNEU7_Rsv8sbOxxrkeas
And finally, if you’d like to dig a little deeper, here are additional details on some of the challenged works in Canada. https://www.freedomtoread.ca/challenged-works/
Happy Freedom to Read (whatever you choose!) Week.