Thursday, February 5, 2015

Freedom to Read Week: February 22-28, 2015

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The week is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council.

This week is important to me not only as a book lover and avid reader, but because of what I see in my elementary school libraries.  There are many challenges, verbal and formal, to a huge variety of books in schools.  I have seen challenges based on strong personal beliefs (same sex relationships in books; descriptions of puberty, language) and some based on quick observations (scary book covers, violence, titles).  

Below are some of the books that have been questioned in my schools.  Of course there are many, many more that never get past the "I don't think you should have this" comment.

challenge: inappropriate title (and assumed content even though they never read any of the books)

challenge(s): Goosebumps and Christopher Pike series for being too violent or too scary
challenge(s): same-sex relationships being introduced to children and being portrayed as 'normal'

You can see some of the titles that have been challenged and/or pulled from shelves on the Challenged Works List on 

Visit your local library to see what events and promotions they are hosting.  Ask your school libraries how they are representing the freedom to read.

Here are some of the events happening in Ontario according to

March 7, 2015

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