Banned Together: Alberta’s finest read the censors’ favourites

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week, some of Canada’s best authors will gather in Edmonton to read from outrageously entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking books for young readers.

Research has shown that one third of books that have been challenged in Canadian schools don’t make it back onto the library shelves. Responding to a recent rise in censorship, our province’s top creators of books for grownups are joining with their kidlit counterparts to send a powerfully subversive message: no one should stand between a growing reader and a good book.

Greg Hollingshead, Myrna Kostash, Linda Goyette, Todd Babiak, Jocelyne Verret, Caterina Edwards, Kuot Alith and Theresa Saffa will read from children’s and young adult books that have been challenged. You might hear excerpts from Kevin Major’s Hold Fast, which was banned for containing foul language, mild sexual content and – egad! – bad grammar; Dennis Lee’s Lizzy’s Lion, which is apparently too violent and promotes cannibalism; Gwen Molnar’s I Said to Sam, which according to one principal had words like “exotic” and “elaborate” which were far too difficult for grade two students.

The event, a joint initiative of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) and PEN Canada, will be held at 7 pm on February 26, at the Grant MacEwan Conference Theatre (5-142 10700 – 104 Avenue). Admission is free of charge.

For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact Merle Harris (IBBY – Alberta Chair) at or (780) 444-7214.

What: a celebration of Freedom to Read Week

When: Thursday, February 26, 7 to 9.30 pm

Where: Grant MacEwan Conference Theatre (5-142 10700 – 104 Avenue), in Edmonton, Alberta