Freedom to Read Week - February 21-27

Freedom to Read Week, February 21-27, 2016, is an annual event organized by Canada's Book and Periodical Council that encourages us to think about our intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canadians have a long history of challenging and removing published works from readership.   This is balanced by an equally long history of defending and upholding the freedom to read these works.

Among the works challenged over the decades are books by Canadian writers, including A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler, and Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, which was removed from a Peterborough high school's reading list in 1976.

Canadians continue to contest both fiction and non-fiction works in this century for a growing number of reasons such as offensive language, anti-ethnicity, violence, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, sexism and sexual explicitness, and defamation.  Recently challenged books by Canadian authors include The Wars by Timothy Findley, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deborah Ellis. 

To learn more about books that are challenged, why they are contested by concerned readers and how they are defended by champions of free expression visit  Freedom To Read. Then, exercise your own freedom to read by checking out some of these challenged books at Trent University Library.