To underline the relevance and importance of Freedom to Read Week and censorship issues, we have created a list of Canadian books that have been subject to censorship, banned or legally challenged in Canadian schools and libraries recently and in past decades. This list has been adapted from the Freedom to Read Week "List of Challenged Books and Magazines."
Robert Ross, a sensitive nineteen-year-old Canadian officer, went to warâ”The War to End All Wars. He found himself in the nightmare world of trench warfare, of mud and smoke, of chlorine gas and rotting corpses. In this world gone mad, Robert Ross performed a last desperate act to declare his commitment to life in the midst of death.
Challenged in 2011 in Ontario for its use in Grade 12 English classes. Objections to sex and violence in the novel. After community response and textbook review, novel was kept in the secondary school curriculum.
Early in his career, Judge John Reilly did everything by the book. His jurisdiction included a First Nations community plagued by suicide, addiction, poverty, violence and corruption. He steadily handed out prison sentences with little regard for long-term consequences and even less knowledge as to why crime was so rampant on the reserve in the fir …
In 2010 in Alberta, the Stoney Nakoda First Nation asked the Judicial Council of Alberta to ban Bad Medicine, objecting to the negative portrayal of their government of the reserve. In 2011, the Judicial Council of Alberta found merit in the Stoney Nakodas’ complaint and said that Reilly should resign from the bench if he wanted to make political statements. No book ban occurred.
Challenged in 1987 with a number of other texts by a group of parents in Victoria County ON. The school board rejected the challenges. The parent group ran candidates for the school board during the 1989 municipal elections; all were defeated.
In 1984, Doyle’s publisher received a letter from the principal of a rural Ontario school stating that copies of the book were being returned because they promoted negative views and did not contain the values of “positive citizenship.”
Meet Rachel, Art, Rudy, Luisa and Michael. At first glance, they couldn't appear more different from one another. But look a little closer. Each one has an important decision to make -- and must live with the consequences. Their stories about dating, family, power and identity are filled with strong images, ringing with the emotion and reality of l …
During the 2000 sexual assault trial of a former teacher in Langley BC, court heard evidence that the teacher had assigned a story, “Invisible Girl,” from this critically acclaimed collection to a Grade 4 and 5 class. The story deals with date rape. The school principal suggested to the board superintendent that the book be withdrawn from Langley schools. Book was withdrawn from elementary schools in the district, but is still available in secondary school libraries.
In a rehabilitation center for disabled children, twelve-year-old Nora says she loves the color pink and chewing gum and explains that the wheels of her wheelchair are like her legs. Eleven-year-old Mohammad describes how his house was demolished by soldiers. And we meet twelve-year-old Salam, whose older sister walked into a store in Jerusalem and …
In Ontario, the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) in 2006 urged public school boards to deny access to this children’s non-fiction book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to students in the elementary grades, stating that Ellis had provided a flawed historical introduction to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although the Ontario Library Association (OLA) had recommended Three Wishes to schools as part of its acclaimed Silver Birch reading program, and although schoolchildren were not required to read the book, at least five school boards in Ontario set restrictions on the text.
UPDATE: Jane Rule has been inducted as a member into the Order of Canada, announced February 20, 2007. In January, Jane also received the Alice B. Toklas Medal (US) for her long and storied career as a lesbian novelist. Jane Rule's 1977 novel The Young in One Another's Arms is set at the end of the Vietnam War in and around a boarding house in the …
Although this Canadian novel had been published in 1977 and thousands of copies were available in Canada, a shipment addressed to Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto was detained by customs officers at the U.S. border in 1990. The shipment was eventually released.
In 1997, this picture book was banned from use in public schools in Surrey BC along with two others. The books had been submitted to the school board for approval earlier in the school year by a primary-level teacher. Before banning these three books, the board also announced that it would not approve any materials drawn from resource lists submitted by the Gay and Lesbian Educators (GALE) of British Columbia. As a result, parents, teachers, and students launched a lawsuit against the school board, seeking to have the decisions reversed. The books were said by the board to promote a homosexual lifestyle. In December 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada declared that the school board was wrong to ban books depicting homosexual parents in a positive light from elementary classrooms. The B.C. School Act, the court said, requires public schools to be secular, pluralistic and respectful of diversity.