Three great ways to celebrate Freedom to Read Week:
1. Read Eleanor & Park (or any other challenged book)
This morning, members of the Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee presented a copy of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park to City Council as part of the official launch of Freedom to Read Week 2014. Eleanor & Park is a bestselling and award-winning novel about two teenage misfits falling in love in 1980s Omaha, and it was the centre of controversy in Minnesota this past summer when two parents objected to the book's use of language. The author's planned visit to the school was cancelled, and the ultra-conservative Parents Action League got involved, demanding that all copies of the book be removed from both the school and public libraries, and that the librarians who had chosen the book for the summer reading program be disciplined for choosing to offer this "inappropriate and profane" book (their words, not mine!). Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
2. Join us this Thursday at Owl's Nest Books
Every year, the Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee recognizes the winners of our teen writing contest, and also presents the Freedom of Expression award to a Calgarian who exemplifies the fight for intellectual freedom. This year, they are presenting the award to local radio personality Dave Rutherford.
The celebration is at Owl's Nest Books (815A 49th Avenue SW, in the Britannia shopping plaza) on Thursday, February 27th, at 7 p.m.
3. Read the winning entries in our Freedom to Read Week writing contest!
The sad truth is, material for kids and teens is the most likely to be challenged, which makes YOU the victim of censorship. Every year CPL hosts a writing contest for local students, and as always, this year's winners impressed us with their responses.
Our 2014 winners are Jasmine Y., Rachel H., and Emily G., and we'll post their entries at the end of the week — so if you want to hear them earlier, you'll have to join us at Owl's Nest.