BANNED TOGETHER: Canada's finest read the censors' favourites

    TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Freedom to
Read Week (, acclaimed Canadian authors, editors, and
publishers are gathering in Toronto to read outrageously entertaining,
informative, and thought-provoking books for young readers.
    Books that tell the truth! Books that make kids think! Books that make
adults squirm!
    Recognizing that today's young readers are their future readers and
storytellers, our country's top creators of books for grownups are joining
their kidlit counterparts to send censors a powerful message: no one should
stand between a growing reader and a good book.

    - Renowned author Michael Winter reads Hold Fast, by fellow
    Newfoundlander Kevin Major. Canada's first novel for young adults and a
    multiple award winner, Hold Fast was banned by Canadian schools for
    containing foul language, sexual content and -- yikes! -- bad grammar.

    - 2009 Canada Reads nominee Brian Francis and writer-provocateur Derek
    McCormack read from dog-eared copies of Judy Blume's touching and
    uncompromisingly honest coming-of-age novels. Five of Blume's books are
    among the 100 most challenged of all time.

    - International writers Benjamin Santamaria and Andrea Hila, from PEN
    Canada's Writers in Exile program, read contemporary stories challenged
    abroad for their social and political messages.

    Other illustrious readers and MCs include authors Tim Wynne-Jones,
Russell Smith, Paul Quarrington, Kenneth Oppel, Michael Helm, and Darren
Wershler, as well as Alana Wilcox, Senior Editor at Coach House Books, Ellen
Seligman, Senior Vice-President and Publisher of Fiction at McClelland &
Stewart, Peter Carver, Children's Book Editor at Red Deer Press, Susan
Shipton, Sales & Rights Manager at Annick Press, and Iris Tupholme, Publisher
and Editor-in-Chief at HarperCollins Canada.
    The program is divided into two sets: 7:30pm and 8:45pm.
    Tickets are tax deductible. Proceeds to support PEN Canada
( an association of writers and supporters formed in 1926 to
defend freedom of expression and raise awareness of that right, and IBBY
Canada (, the Canadian national section of the
International Board on Books for Young People, which promotes cultural
understanding through access to and the exchange of children's literature.


    Doors open 7pm
    Tuesday, February 24
    Revival Bar
    783 College Street, Toronto

    Tickets available at the door

    Advance tickets available for purchase at:

    PEN Canada, 24 Ryerson Ave., Ste. 301, Toronto, 416-703-8448
    Canadian Children's Book Centre, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Ste. 101
    (lower level), 416-975-0010
    Canadian Society of Authors, Illustrators, and Performers for Children,
    40 Orchard View Blvd., Ste. 104 (lower level), 416-515-1559

For further information:

For further information: To receive tickets by mail or for additional
information, including media queries, please contact Hadley Dyer of IBBY
Canada (

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