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Bookcrossing: Free a Challenged Book

Did you know that someone in Canada is trying to stop you from reading certain books? Are you shocked? Are you willing to spread the word around your community and possibly further?

To mark Freedom to Read Week, the Freedom of Expression Committee, in partnership with BookCrossing.com, has come up with a fun and innovative challenge for Canadians. We call it “Free a Challenged Book.”

Help spread the word

Most Canadians probably don’t even realize that on their own shelves sit challenged books. During Freedom to Read Week, your mission is to release challenged books all across Canada — on park benches, in coffee shops and in schools — as a way to mimic how challenged books are passed around, and to spread the word about challenged and banned books in Canada.

The Freedom of Expression Committee invites you to find a title you care about from our list of challenged literature and release it into your community. Perhaps your book will be picked up by someone in your community or maybe even by a foreign exchange student who will release it in another country — that’s the beauty of this project and our hope for your freed book.

Interested? Here’s how to get started…

Step 1: Find a title from your own bookshelf that appears on our list of Challenged Books.

Here are just a few examples of books that have been challenged in Canada:

  • Margaret Laurence, The Diviners
  • J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
  • Rosamund Elwin, Asha’s Mums
  • Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women
  • Elizabeth Laird, A Little Piece of Ground
  • Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
  • John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter
  • Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Step 2: Tag it with our handy book label (see below).

Step 3: Follow the link to BookCrossing.com and register the book.

Step 4: Release the book into your community.

Step 5: Log on to BookCrossing.com often to see who finds your book and what they think about freedom of expression.

We “challenge” you to do it!

Book label

Download our handy Free a Challenged Book label in PDF format (sample below).

Have you found a freed Challenged book?

Run — don’t walk — to BookCrossing.com to make a journal entry about your discovery — someone out there is wondering about the fate of the book they freed.