Annual Freedom to Read Week. The right to read and write is essential to our democracy and is among our greatest freedoms. The written word is the natural medium for a new idea and the untried voice, from which comes contributions to social growth.

Certain Canadians have long tried to remove books and magazines that ‘they’ deem offensive, or inappropriate for certain audiences, from public libraries and schools. Sometimes they have succeeded and sometimes they have failed. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are still banned at the border. And books are removed from the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day. This affects the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.

Educators are pushing back against those who want to censor literature. Students should have access to resources that help them better understand the lives, cultures, and experiences of different people. Someone gave me a book for my tenth birthday because they knew how much I loved to read. I don’t remember what it was, nor do I even remember what it was about. What I do remember is that it wasn’t a novel I would have chosen for myself. That was freedom to choose.

Politicians and parent groups continue to censor books by fueling fear, and dividing citizens across race, gender, and place. It becomes overwhelming because we…end up in this place where people’s individual feelings, morals, and political ideations take control of a larger narrative. We live in a society where we have different people who make up our communities…and make our country unique, and so to take those aspects away from students when you censor literature is really unfair.

Short list – books once banned or challenged in Canada.

  • The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.
  • Lethal Marriage.
  • Lolita.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale.
  • The Naked and the Dead.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Peyton Place.
  • The Turner Diaries.
  • Deliverance.
  • Of Mice and Men
  • White Niggers of America.
“Linda has published sixteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish. She has mentored many authors and edited their work.” 

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