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Freedom to Read Pt 2

by Tomas - 0 Comment(s)

Maintaining freedom of expression requires a constant effort. It’s important to recognize our freedoms, and at the same time to be aware of the challenges they face. Just have a look at the lengthy list of books challenged in Canada for a reminder of just how fragile this freedom is, and the importance of continual vigilance to preserve it.

The Freedom to Read Week contest (deadline for submissions: Thursday, February 20) is a great opportunity to act on this right, and to consider what is at stake.

Not surprisingly, the dangerous friction between freedom and censorship has been explored by many authors. Here is a small selection of quotes that will hopefully inspire you in your own reflections.

Stephen Chbosky When you publish a book, you do so in part to end the silence. All censorship is silence. I would never, as an author, feel right requiring a young person whose family would object to the book to read it. Just as I would never force that person to read it, I would ask those folks to not force others not to read it. To me, that is just good manners.

-Stephen Chbosky
 
Sam Shepard I do not believe in censorship, but I believe we already have censorship in what is called marketing theory, namely the only information we get in mainstream media is for profit.

-Sam Shepard
 
Julian Assange

Stopping leaks is a new form of censorship.

-
Julian Assange

 
Jeff Buckley

I resent the fact that a parental warning sticker has to be included on an album as cover art. To me that's censorship.

-Jeff Buckley

 
Robert Cormier

You seldom get a censorship attempt from a 14-year-old boy. It's the adults who get upset.

-Robert Cormier

 
Lois Lowry The man that I named the Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love, and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing. It is very risky. But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. Those are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things.

[from her Newberry Award acceptance speech]

Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of 'The Giver': the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.

-Lois Lowry

 

Neil Gaiman

 

A nice, easy place for freedom of speech to be eroded is comics, because comics are a natural target whenever an election comes up.

-
Neil Gaiman

 

Carl Sagan

 

Frederick Douglas taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.

- Carl Sagan
 

Katherine Paterson

 

Reading can be a road to freedom or a key to a secret garden, which, if tended, will transform all of life.


-
Katherine Paterson

 

 

Ellen Hopkins

 

 

Torch every book.

Burn every page.

Char every word to ash.

Ideas are incombustible.

And therein lies your real fear.

-Ellen Hopkins

 

Lemony Snicket

 

The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding--which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together--blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .

-Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril

 

Judy Blume

 

 

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.

-Judy Blume

 

Salman Rushdie

 

 

An attack upon our ability to tell stories is not just censorship - it is a crime against our nature as human beings.

-Salman Rushdie

 

Nelson Mandela


 

A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.

- Nelson Mandela

 

Fall into Graphics - Bleak Bizarre & Beautiful continued...

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

For the purposes of this post let's expand "Graphic Novels" to include books that have Great Graphics in them, and are a cabinet of curiosities in and of themselves! Admittedly, these are not technically graphic novels, but are still well worth it!

Let's start with The Curiosities, a collection of stories compiled for the most part from a blog started by 3 YA all-stars: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton & Brenna Yovanoff. Its purpose is to challenge the authors with weekly writing exercises outside of their current novels in progress; this great collection of short stories includes many drawings and, fun, hand-written notes by fellow authors commenting (often sarcastically), on the writing of their peers.

Highlights include..... A diagram of Brenna's brain, 5 signs of a Maggie story (angst, cars, sarcasm, kissing, geniuses), drawings of each of their respective work spaces; (Yovanoff's includes just a ghost, a chair and, a monster coffee mug...), and comparative charts of their average story lengths (Tessa's being a ladder to the sky that never ends); complete with snide comments on the side. ;0)-

And if you're squeamish... this book is not quite as creepy as the original Cabinet of Curiosities. Trust me...

Venturing into fairyland; Wish by Beth Bracken & Kay Fraser includes sumptuously illustrated pages in full colour making you feel like you are reading through someone's fancy fairy journal.

Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman, features black & white engravings by master carver John Lawrence, as well as photos of newspaper clippings and bills giving it an old time, 1800's, steampunky feel. This short book gives you some unknown background into the characters featured in Pullman's His Dark Materials Series (The Golden Compass).

Unnatural Creatures is a great new book of short stories out by Neil Gaiman dealing with curious creatures such as griffins, sunbirds and werewolves. Titles include such curiosities such as "The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" & "Ozioma The Wicked".

And speaking of Mr. Gaiman... Guess who's coming to town on February 24th to speak for the Calgary Distinguished Writer's Program?..??? for FREE! Yes, that's right folks - get your (Free!) tickets on-line on October 24th at 12 noon sharp to make sure you don't miss out!

Mr. Gaiman recently presented a speech about the importance of imagination and science fiction to our culture. Check it out here! And remember to enter our All Hallow's Read contest for a chance to win one of his books, plus another scary title to give away.

Based on the acclaimed animated film Amaqqut nunaat = The Country of Wolves is a centuries old Inuit folktale that is beautifully retold by Neil Christopher and hauntingly illustrated by Ramon Perez.

Being so close to Halloween I would feel somewhat amiss if I failed to mention that we also have 2 brand NEW Graphic novels versions of two of Edgar Allen Poe's classics; The Pit and The Pendulum, & The Tell-Tale Heart . Happy Hallowed Reading!

nevermore

Ready...Set...READ!

by Carrie - 2 Comment(s)

youth read 2013Ready...Set...READ!


It's finally time to read - or draw - or write - or paint - or whatever, and win!

Youth Read is our online summer reading program for teens, ages 13 to 17. Take part this summer and you could win a piece of over $2,000 in prizes.

Here's how it works:

Every week we’ll post a series of challenges — all you have to do is complete one each week to be eligible for the grand prize draw. One will always be a reading challenge; the others will let you show off your creative side. Every challenge you complete gets you another entry in the weekly draws, and entries that are especially creative or amazing will be chosen by our judges for each week's Top Ten.

Prizes:

  • Grand prize: $250, $150, and $75 gift cards to Cadillac Fairview malls (Chinook & Market Mall)
  • Weekly prizes: Ten free books every week, plus $25 gift cards for the Top Ten and for the reading challenge!
  • Bonus prizes: one challenge every week comes with a sweet extra prize attached.
  • Special prize: Tell a friend and you could each win a $100 gift card! Registration continues all summer so keep telling your friends - and remind them to put your name when we ask where they found out about the program.

Ready to read and win?

register here

Word! It's Never too late for a Poetry Contest!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

You may be asking what exactly is a Wordle? Well.. it's a collection of words arranged in a visual way to make a concrete poem. Okay, okay what is a concrete poem? It's a visual poem = words arranged in a visual way to have an effect = a unique hybrid of both art and poetry. As you can see on the left I was inspired by our recent deluge of rain. Local poet derek beaulieu is a master at it! (& in case you hadn't noticed I've also included some Wordle examples) So... we are inviting you to get busy with a graphix program and design your own Wordle and submit it to our Teens Create page to win! The prize you may ask? A fabulous journal - what every poet and artist is always wanting more of... deadline is June 5th (aka get this in before Youth Read starts! - we know you'll be busy with all the other amazing challenges then - P.S. did you know you can Pre-Register for Youth Read?) Chop! Chop! Don't forget to also submit your name and contact ph#/email in the comments as well as submitting your Wordle on the Teens Create page (and don't worry we will NOT publish your contact info). And if you are at a loss as to how to use Photoshop or Illustrator to do this you may want to take advantage of our Free Ed2Go online instructor-led courses! May the best WORD-le win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students of Verse (psst! April is International Poetry Month!)

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Psst! April is International Poetry month. Now that you know you can get busy: writing poetry and submitting it to our TeensCreate Page, participating in the Youth Slam at the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, coming to one of the poetry events the library is hosting in April, reading our previous poetry blogs, checking out the hottest YA verse novels And... looking forward to our upcoming WORDLE contest where you could win some swag!

Here are some titles I would definitely recommend (btw you can read a verse novel in an hour!). Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill is a great and funny book involving many sisterly pranks conspiring around avoiding an arranged marriage, finding love and making glass in Venice (Murano) in the 1500s!

Fishtailing by Wendy Phillips details the intertwining lives of four high school students.

God Went To Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant is a humorous take on what would happen if God decided to be human.

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay: "My wish / is to fall / cranium over Converse / in dizzy daydream-worthy / LOVE. / (If only it were that easy.)"

Students of verse may also be interested in poetry written by what very well may be your high school teacher, that is if you go to school in YYC! Lessons in Falling by T. B. Perry includes things you may and may Not want to know about how your teachers think about you. Ever been bullied by a photocopier? T. B. Perry has, but he was also a Poet Laureate Nominee by Calgary Arts Development in 2012. So life's not all bad right?

And I can't forget my favourite verse novel to date, due to its multi-layered complexity and beautiful imagery: Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block is about the effects a father and mother can have on your love life - maybe? I admit I'd have to read a few more times to fully decipher the meaning (but of course that's why I like it... ;0).

Celebrate Your Freedom with Us!!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Freedom to Read week starts today! Check out the Freedom To Read Website for ideas on how you can revel between February 24th & March 2nd.

Join us this Thursday the 28th at 7pm at Shelf Life Books for our Youth Award Celebration to honour our A World Without Choices contest winners. We received many great submissions in words, images and video that answered the following question: "What would your world look like without the freedom to read?" Check out some of the awesomeness submitted on our TeensCreate page!

AND, drum roll please... the winners are:

Ethan G. for his great essay, "Silenced Voices"

Alexa I. for her wonderful FTR essay, and

the amazing video duo Julia C. & Danika V. - check out their video Here!

In addition, the Freedom to Read Committee has awarded the 2013 Freedom of Expression Award, sponsored by FFWD Weekly, to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. Chantal Chagnon is accepting the award as a representative of the movement. Committee member Darlene Montgomery has provided the following statement to support the Award:

The Freedom of Expression Award is presented annually during Freedom to Read Week. The Award is presented to a person or group in the Calgary area who best demonstrates leadership in promoting freedom of expression, an important cornerstone of democracy. The Award is sponsored by FFWD Weekly. This year the Freedom of Expression Award will be presented to the Calgary Idle No More Movement. The Calgary INM Movement has demonstrated a commitment to freedom of expression by taking a public stand to raise awareness of the rich cultural heritage and history of our First Nations people; the social, educational and economic issues affecting their lives; and the obligation of governments to respect the treaty rights of First Nations people. Chantal Chagnon, a local organizer and spokesperson for the Calgary Idle No More Movement will accept the Award on behalf of the Movement at our annual celebration on February 28.

Chantal, the teen winners, family members and supporters will all be on hand for the annual celebration.

Today (February 25th) the Freedom To Read Committee at CPL made their Book Selection presentation to City Council. This year, the selected book is Shine, by Lauren Myracle. Myracle has been touted as "This Generation's Judy Blume". Betsy Fraser, ardent teen-lit enthusiast and CPL Selector, submitted the following nomination:

My suggestion for this year’s Freedom to Read week book would be Lauren Myracle’s Shine. Lauren has been a fantastic example through the years of an author whose books have been targeted as “unsuitable” for their target audience on the one hand, while being lauded by reviewers and those very teens on the other as speaking to and for them… In the past year, Lauren was catapulted into the media when her book was erroneously mentioned as a short-listed title for the National Book Award. Instead of being bitter, she used the ensuing media storm to garner support and attention for gay rights, ‘shining a light’, if you will, on the downtrodden, bullied and abused. Ms. Myracle is a wonderful speaker, and while a hate crime is a dark subject, I ask the committee to consider Shine as its title for 2013 Freedom of Expression Award.

The author's long history of challenges, coupled with her courage in tackling a very difficult subject, led the committee to choose this moving novel. While it begins with a hate crime, it is ultimately a story about hope, and about letting your inner light shine through when darkness surrounds you.

Join us! Thursday February 28, 2013 7 p.m. at Shelf Life Books, 100, 1302 - 4th Street S.W.

And Read on! ;0)

by Adrienne, with many thanks to Allison Thomson (Chair, Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee) and Carrie, our awesome Teen Cybrarian.

2013 Freedom to Read Week Contest!

by Carrie - 0 Comment(s)

 

Did you love The Hunger Games? Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Have you ever read a book by John Green, Neil Gaiman, or Lauren Myracle?

Would it surprise you to know that these books and authors, and many more, have been the targets of challenges meant to stop teens just like you from reading them? In fact, many of the 100 most challenged books of the last decade have been books for kids and teens - you can see the whole list here.

Every February Canadians celebrate Freedom to Read Week as a reminder of one of the fundamental freedoms set forth in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression - which includes reading and writing. We're lucky to live in a society that is mostly free from censorship, but even here in Canada we have to keep our eyes open. There are always people who want to "protect" teens by taking away books that offend them - like the ones I just mentioned:

hunger games coverharry potter coverlooking for alaska titlem is for magic coverttfn cover

But books are important, especially difficult, painful, possibly offensive books. As YA author Cheryl Rainfield says,

"Books saved me - realistic books that helped me know I wasn’t alone and fantasy that helped me escape. Books helped me survive the extreme abuse that was my childhood and teenhood. I know how important it is to know you’re not alone in your pain. That’s part of why I wrote Scars...I know what it’s like to have no one to turn to, nothing to help you hang on, except books. To have a book that might help anoth­er teen be kept from them—it seems wrong to me on a deep level."

It seems wrong to us, too. That's why we hold the Freedom to Read Week Contest every year. This year, the question is, "If you didn't have the freedom to choose what you read, what would that look like?"

You can enter in one of three ways:

  • Make a poster (draw, paint or use photography and other graphic arts, 8½ x 14” or 11 x 17”)
  • Write a poem, short story or essay (max. 300 words)
  • Create a film (3 min. or less)

All content must be your own work, except for short, cited quotations. Contest is open to Calgary students in grades 7 to 9. Include your name, school, grade and telephone number with your entry.

To enter:
Send your project by e-mail to
freedomtoread@calgarypubliclibrary.com
AND upload to Teens Create
(http://www.calgarypubliclibrary.com/teens/teens-create)

OR submit a hardcopy to any Calgary Public Library location.

One entry per person.
Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 15, 2013

Teen Afterschool at the Forest Lawn Library

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Don’t have anything to do after school? Tired of heading home merely to veg out on the couch watching reruns of Degrassi? Want to hang out with fun people doing interesting things?

Stop by the Forest Lawn Library Monday to Thursday between 4:00-6:00p.m. starting September 27th at our Kick-Off which will involve a teen takeover of the Library (food truck deliciousness may be involved). Every day will have a different activity including yoga, robotics, videogame tournaments, knitting, cupcake decorating (and eating, yum!), manga drawing lessons, first aid course, Zumba, rocket building (yes really, ROCKET BUILDING!), and much more.

Hunger Games enthusiasts take special note. We will be running a Hunger Games club once a week where we will be planning and filming a trailer for the upcoming Catching Fire Movie. Actors, screenwriters, cinematographers, art/set designers, editors, sound crew, props, costume designers, hair and make-up, special effects…whew! Believe us when we say there’s a role for you, especially since we’ll have guest experts to teach you the ropes. Sign up has already begun for the club so hurry in to secure your spot.

There’s also the chance to meet a former WWE wrestler, LANCE STORM, and perhaps win a trip to go and see Wrestlemania 29 (or XXIX) in New Jersey. You’ll have to come check us out for more info!

And if for some inexplicable reason none of that floats you boat, perhaps actual floating might be more your speed. In partnership with the Bob Bahan pool, afterschoolers can swim (or float) every day of the week, shoot hoops in the basketball court, or buff up in the weight room.

With all of this going on, there truly is no excuse for afterschool boredom.

 

~Blog by Liz

Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful... New Fairytale Comics!

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

I am happy to report that we have some great new fantasy graphic novels in! The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen being notable among them. Yolen weaves a story around just enough stereotypes to turn them around and come out with a satisfactory egalitarian ending -- a great read. Yolen is one of the most prolific writers of our time, boasting 300+ books to her name (with CPL carrying 40+ of her YA and Adult titles). A great storyteller with a penchant for fantasy and extremely relatable characters, she ranges from writing children's books, to poetry (adult poetry among them), to novels. She has also partnered with many great artists throughout her career, such as Come to the Fairies' Ball illustrated by Gary Lippincott. Sacred Places illustrated by David Shannon is also a notable highlight among her illustrious ilk. In The Last Dragon artist Rebecca Guay fits right in there by creating a visual feast for the eyes with hints of Art Nouveau and the Pre-Raphealites. I like pretty comic books, it's true. Guay has also illustrated Black Pearls A Faerie Strand, a YA novel by Louise Hawes.

Pay the Piper is a modern rock n' roll twist on the Pied Piper -- Modern, urban fantasy at it's best. Another great Pied Piper re-telling that just hit the stacks is The Brixen Witch by Stacey DeKeyser

At the back of the graphic novel The Last Unicorn there is a spread of art by 5 different artists depicting the characters from the story. I'm assuming the artists auditioned to illustrate the final comic. The art was amazing, as were the artists they picked, and it made me wonder how the novel would have been different if illustrated by each artist. A picture is worth a thousand words and this concept - of seeing other artistic possibilities for the same book intrigued me. Then, along comes Spera by Josh Tierney! One graphic novel, one story, illustrated by five different artists, each depicting their own chapter! The most surprising thing about this really is how smoothly the story actually flows from artist to artist, yet each lends a particular flavour, slanting and enhancing the scenes at hand. And for those of you who just can get enough, there's a Volume 2 on order!

Although not new to our collection the following items are more than worth your while.

Castle Waiting is a great comic book that takes elements from fairytales such as 'Sleeping Beauty' and combines them with a good dose of humour and plots about bearded ladies, two-headed girls, pregnancy and hidden libraries... Arthur Rackham makes an appearance as a stork and there are lots of other humorous post-modern references sprinkled throughout. Linda Medley, the author, has been described as Arthur-Rackham-meets-Charles-DeLint-meets-Marvel-comics! I highly recommend her. And there's Castle Waiting II too. Funnily enough the intro is written by... Jane Yolen! Of Medley she says: "Once upon a time, which is how all good fairy tales begin (if you grew up in western culture), a child was born in the rural Salinas area of California. Or Califunny as those of us who live 3000 miles away like to call it. Which, if one were writing a fairytale would be prophetic. If one were drawing a comic, it would come with a banner: Here is born Linda Medley. Then an arrow to a group of trees, Rackham trees. A child sits with her back against the heavy bark, in her lap a drawing pad. There is a newspaper, folded to the comics page by her side, a copy of Grimm Tales... So I feel as if Linda Medley is an old friend who has written Castle Waiting just for me - a feminist fairy tale with attitude, heart, imagination, laughter, love and truth. Er, Truth." I heartily agree!

The Goblin Companion by Brian Froud has long been a standing favourite of mine. Although Froud is famous for his fairies I particularly enjoyed seeing how he would draw a goblin wife, what kind of tools each fool possesses, and in general the rough juiciness of his pencil drawings particularly suits a more ornery subject... such as goblins. Check it out!

Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful cont...Art Graphix

by Adrienne - 2 Comment(s)

Okay so it's been quite awhile since I have written a blog in the Bleak, Bizarre and Beautiful vein. In the interim I am happy to report that we at CPL have chalked up a considerably new awesome stock of graphic novels in! Herein are reviews of some of the best graphic novels that have crossed my path over the past few months. They are what I consider to be original in format, art and story;

Here be the latest: ART GRAPHIX!!!

Chopsticks: [A Novel] in pictures & news clips is a mystery that leaves you with plenty of questions. This beautiful new art book/ graphic novel written by Jessica Anthony (who also wrote The Convalescent), photographed and designed by Rodrigo Corral.

Page by Paige is a fun quick read of Paige Turner's adventures in her sketchbook after her family moves to New York. The images and text detail her journey towards becoming an artist. Inventive and profound whilst remaining light, Paige and her friends stir things up a bit as unconventional graffiti-ists "The Agents of Whimsy". Each Chapter is headed up with a new "rule"; rules that will help any aspiring artist to fill up the Page (or just adjust to a new school...)!

How would you use a camera to communicate your view of yourself and the world around you? How do you think your friends would? Please Read (if at all possible) The Girl Project by Kate Engelbrecht is a compilation of photographs and survey submissions that gives snapshot glimpses into the lives of REAL teenage girls... as Not seen on TV. The author of this book speaks to girls, "3 years ago I became fascinated by popular depictions of you. I didn't recognize you. Bratty. Slutty. Spoiled. Vapid. Mean - even vicious.... I didn't see myself in you or even relate to you. After all, I didn't know any teenage girls anymore, and like so many adults, I understood you only through the media...I started the girl project as a way to explore my questions and confusion.. This project has become less about my curiosity of you and more to do with making sure your lives get shared. Your lives are in fact deeply meaningful... I hope you see yourself somewhere in these pages and feel reassured that, in this world, you are not alone."

Cathy's Book by Stewart/Weisman/Brigg is an epistolary (book written in diary format) complete with doodles. pictures and notes inserted. This is one of those books that I picked up to read for five minutes and didn't put down until someone else walked in to the room and I realized what time it was... A fast paced action adventure with an ArtGrrl twist plus plenty of mystery and philosophy on the side. It also features a website and ph# you can call to enhance the story! MY favourite quote from the book reads, "Without us, the world is just things, Cathy. It's our seeing that fills them with meaning. To pay attention is a painter's sacred duty. That's what real prayer is, real meditation: to hold your attention to the world like a match, until it catches with the fire of meaning."

Last but not least Timbuktu based on the novel written by Paul Aster - adapted and illustrated by Julia Goschke - with beautiful paintings and sparse text. Told from Mr. Bones' point of view after his homeless former master passes a way and Mr. Bones tries to adjust to his new life (incidentally, Mr. Bones is a dog). Poignant and real, it brings a different perspective on the freedom of homelessness and a dog's loyalty as he learns, "..that memory was a place, a real place that one could visit, and that to spend a few moments among the dead was not necessarily bad for you, that it could in fact be a source of great comfort and happiness."

Happy Reading!

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