The 26th annual Freedom To Read Week will take place in Canada between February 21 and February 27. It aims to highlight the cause of censorship.
The Book and Periodical Council sponsors the yearly Freedom to Read Week which promotes the right for all of us to read whatever we want and brings attention to the number of challenges books published in Canada face yearly. The Book and Periodical Council's position statement states that "the freedom to choose what we read does not, however, include the freedom to choose for others."
Many classic books have been challenged in the past including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler, The Wars by Timothy Findley, and The Adventures of TinTin by Herge. Many times it just takes one complaint for a book to be removed from a library, a bookstore, or a school.
In 2009, To Kill a Mockingbird was removed from school reading lists by the Brampton School Board in Ontario. One parent complained about a racial epithet contained in the book. It is outrageous that these things happen just on one complaint especially when it is a book that strives to end racial prejudice and promotes understanding.
While I believe that people have the right to question and challenge books and the right not to read those books; they do not have the right to make that decision for another person.
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