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Freedom to Read Kit 2013

The Freedom to Read Kit is an annual review of current censorship issues in Canada, featuring provocative news articles, interviews with champions of free speech, and a Get Involved section with activities designed for classroom instruction and discussion.

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week by ordering posters.


“There are worse crimes than burning books,” said the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. “One of them is not reading them.” Freedom to Read 2013 includes stories about both crimes: Lawrence Hill reflects on the threat to burn his Book of Negroes and I.M. GreNãda writes about the challenge of getting books into prisons.

Freedom to Read 2013 explores the shifting forces that threaten our free expression and celebrates those who defend our rights. Ron Deibert discusses his tireless work championing freedom of expression online. Anne Jayne writes about the showdown between the University of Calgary and twin brothers who wrote disparaging remarks about their professor on Facebook. And Mark Bourrie reveals how journalists have diminishing access to Parliament Hill. Brenda Cossman charts the tradition of censoring lesbian and gay literature in Canada. Charles Montpetit shares the story of Canadian artist and writer Franke James who took her message to the streets (and billboards) of Ottawa after the federal government denied her arts funding for criticizing Canada’s environmental record.

Freedom to Read 2013 also travels the world. Exiled Iranian author Ava Homa shares her story about the perils of being a journalist in Iran. And our “Global View” highlights some of the world’s worst Internet censors.

There is much more, including a roundup of current issues in the news, Hilary McLaughlin’s incisive look at Nick Cohen’s You Can’t Read This Book, and our “Get Involved” section which encourages you to celebrate and defend your freedom to read.

— Josh Bloch, Editor

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Position Statement: Freedom of Expression and Freedom to Read

Book and Periodical Council Members 2012–13

News Bytes
By Franklin Carter

Cyberspace Visionary: Ron Deibert in Conversation
By Josh Bloch

Leave It to Readers
By Lawrence Hill

Marginalizing the Media on Parliament Hill
By Mark Bourrie

Unsuitable: Challenging LGBT
By Brenda Cossman

Return of the Blacklist
By Charles Montpetit

Echoes from Exile
By Ava Homa

Boys and the Banned
By Lis Clemens

The Global View: Cyber Censorship
in 2012

When Students Don’t “Like” Professors
on Facebook
By Anne Jayne

Embracing Serendipity in the Big House Stacks
By I.M. GreNãda

Josef Škvorecký (1924–2012)
By Amanda Hopkins

Meanwhile in Quebec …
By Charles Montpetit

2012 Awards

Challenges to Materials and Policies in Canadian Libraries in 2011
By Donna Bowman and Alvin M. Schrader

Speaking Up for Transparency
By Charlie Foran

Looking Back: A Report from the Writers’ Union of Canada
By Ron Brown

Book Profile: Access Controlled
By Graeme Lottering

Book Profile: Finding the Words
By Teri Degler

Book Profile: You Can’t Read This Book
By Hilary McLaughlin

Freedom to Read Week Activities and Events Across Canada 2012


Ideas for Educators

Freedom to Read 2013 Quiz

Speak Out for the Freedom to Read

Freedom to Read Word Search

Challenged Authors Word Search

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Editor: Josh Bloch

Consulting Editor: Franklin Carter

Creative Director: Reva Pomer

Poster Design: David Wyman

Contributors: Mark Bourrie, Donna Bowman, Ron Brown, Lis Clemens, Brenda Cossman, Teri Degler, Charles Foran, I.M. GreNãda, Lawrence Hill, Ava Homa, Amanda Hopkins, Anne Jayne, Graeme Lottering, Hilary McLaughlin, Charles Montpetit, Alvin M. Schrader, Erin Stropes
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