Freedom To Read

Books that have been challenged or banned in Canadian libraries.

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The apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

The apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Richler, Mordecai, 1931-2001
1995

The dazzling tale of a clever young rogue who makes good (or at least makes money), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz established Mordecai Richler as one of the great comic writers of the twentieth century. Determined to claw his way out of Montrealas Jewish ghetto, young Duddy takes to heart his grandfatheras maxim that "a man without land is nobody." In his relentless pursuit of property and a big-time reputation, the cynical dreamer lies, cheats, and hurts everyone who loves him. Amoral, yet oddly endearing, Duddy Kravitz is one of the most charismatic anti-heroes of all time -- a man who learns the hard way that dreams are not exactly what they seem, even when they do come true. Abridged by the author himself and featuring the melodious voice of Broadwayas Paul Hecht, along with original music and sound effects, this superb archival recording (which first aired on CBC Radio in 1980) captures the frenetic pacing and sharp wit of Richleras 1959 masterpiece.

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Arvida : stories

Arvida : stories

Archibald, Samuel, 1978-, author
2015

Finalist for the 2015 Giller Prize

Finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award

One of Quill & Quire's Books of the Year, 2015

A twenty-five-thousand-copy bestseller in Quebec, Arvida , with its stories of innocent young girls and wild beasts, attempted murder and ritual mutilation, haunted houses and road trips heading nowhere, is unforgettable. Like a Proust-obsessed Cormac McCarthy, Samuel Archibald's portrait of his hometown, a model town design by American industrialist Arthur Vining Davis, does for Quebec's North what William Faulkner did for the South, and heralds an important new voice in world literature.

Samuel Archibald teaches contemporary popular culture at the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he lectures on genre fiction, horror movies, and video games, among other subjects.

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Barometer rising

Barometer rising

MacLennan, Hugh, 1907-1990.
1989

Penelope Wain believes that her lover, Neil Macrae, has been killed while serving overseas under her father. That he died apparently in disgrace does not alter her love for him, even though her father is insistent on his guilt. What neither Penelope or her father knows is that Neil is not dead, but has returned to Halifax to clear his name.

Hugh MacLennan's first novel is a compelling romance set against the horrors of wartime and the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917.

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The book of negroes

The book of negroes

Hill, Lawrence, 1957-, author
2007

A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London.

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The diviners

The diviners

Laurence, Margaret, 1926-1987.
1988

The culmination and completion of Margaret Laurence's celebrated Manawaka cycle,The Divinersis an epic novel. This is the powerful story of an independent woman who refuses to abandon her search for love. For Morag Gunn, growing up in a small Canadian prairie town is a toughening process -- putting distance between herself and a world that wanted no part of her. But in time, the aloneness that had once been forced upon her becomes a precious right -- relinquished only in her overwhelming need for love. Again and again, Morag is forced to test her strength against the world -- and finally achieves the life she had determined would be hers. The Divinershas been acclaimed by many critics as the outstanding achievement of Margaret Laurence's writing career. In Morag Gunn, Laurence has created a figure whose experience emerges as that of all dispossessed people in search of their birthright, and one who survives as an inspirational symbol of courage and endurance. The Divinersreceived the Governor General's Award for Fiction for 1974. From the Paperback edition.

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Essex County

Essex County

Lemire, Jeff
2009

Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What turns two brothers from an unstoppable team into bitterly estranged loners? How does the simple-hearted care of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception? Award-winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire pays tribute to his roots with Essex County , an award-winning trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of his hometown, the eccentric farming community of Essex County, Ontario, Canada. Here, Lemire crafts an intimate study of one community through the years, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation. With the lush, expressive inking of a young artist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free.
This new edition collects the complete, critically-acclaimed trilogy ( Tales from the Farm , Ghost Stories , and The Country Nurse ) in one deluxe volume! Also included are over 40-pages of previously unpublished material, including two new stories.

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The handmaid's tale

The handmaid's tale

Atwood, Margaret, 1939- author
2017

In this seminal work of speculative fiction, the Booker Prize-winning author asks: In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies? Soon to be a10-episode TV series produced by MGM Television, starring Elizabeth Moss ( Madmen ), Samira Wiley ( Orange is the New Black ), Joseph Fiennes, and Max Minghella

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now.... Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, andliterary tour de force.

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Hold fast

Hold fast

Major, Kevin, 1949-, author
2013

Hold Fast is the widely acclaimed story of a young boy's struggle to survive in a new environment and his fight against those who stand as threats to his pride in himself and his way of life.

Michael turned fourteen in May. By June, both his parents are dead, victims of a car crash. And for Michael, who has lived all his life in a small Newfoundland outport community, this means being suddenly uprooted and sent to live with relatives in St. Albert, a city hundreds of miles away.

Hold Fast is the story of Michael's struggle to survive in his new world. In vivid, honest prose, it depicts his fight against those who threaten him - the loud-mouthed Kentson who makes fun of the way he talks at school, and his uncle who tries to rule life at home with an iron hand. It is also the story of the friendship that develops between Michael and Curtis, his cousin, and of his new uncertain feelings for Brenda.

The book was written, Kevin Major says, "out of love for a way of life and a people. It is an appeal for us Newfoundlanders to be like certain of the species of seaweed that inhabit our shores, which, when faced with the threat of being destroyed by forces they cannot control, evolve an appendage to hold them to the rocks, a holdfast."

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Lives of girls and women : a novel

Lives of girls and women : a novel

Munro, Alice, 1931- author
2005

Lives of Girls and Women is the intensely readable, touching, and very funny story of Del Jordan, a young woman who journeys from the carelessness of childhood through an uneasy adolescence in search of love and sexual experience.

As Del dreams of becoming famous, suffers embarrassment about her mother, endures the humiliation of her body's insistent desires, and tries desperately to fall in love, she grapples with the crises that mark the passage to womanhood.

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Morris Micklewhite and the tangerine dress

Morris Micklewhite and the tangerine dress

Baldacchino, Christine, 1977- author
2014

Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. He dreams about having space adventures, paints beautiful pictures and sings the loudest during circle time. But most of all, Morris loves his classroom's dress-up center -- he loves wearing the tangerine dress.

But the children in Morris's class don't understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn't welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don't wear dresses.

One day when Morris feels all alone, and sick from the taunts of his classmates, his mother lets him stay home from school. Morris reads about elephants, and puts together a puzzle, and dreams of a fantastic space adventure with his cat, Moo.

Inspired by his dream, Morris paints the incredible scene he saw, and brings it with him to school. He builds his own spaceship, hangs his painting on the front of it and takes two of his classmates on an outer space adventure.

With warm, dreamy illustrations Isabelle Malenfant perfectly captures Morris's vulnerability and the vibrancy of his imagination. This is a sweetly told story about the courage and creativity it takes to be different.

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The scorpion rules

The scorpion rules

Bow, Erin, author
2016

The children of world leaders are held hostage in an attempt to keep the peace in this "slyly humorous, starkly thought-provoking" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) novel.

Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don't want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He's a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives--and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta's eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian's country declares war on Greta's and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

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Such a long journey

Such a long journey

Mistry, Rohinton, 1952-
1991

It is Bombay in 1971, the year India went to war over what was to become Bangladesh. A hard-working bank clerk, Gustad Noble is a devoted family man who gradually sees his modest life unravelling. His young daughter falls ill; his promising son defies his father's ambitions for him. He is the one reasonable voice amidst the ongoing dramas of his neighbours. One day, he receives a letter from an old friend, asking him to help in what at first seems like an heroic mission. But he soon finds himself unwittingly drawn into a dangerous network of deception. Compassionate, and rich in details of character and place, this unforgettable novel charts the journey of a moral heart in a turbulent world of change.

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Such is my beloved

Such is my beloved

Callaghan, Morley, 1903-1990
2007

One of the great novels of the 1930s, Such Is My Beloved recounts the tragic story of two down-and-out prostitutes and the young priest who aspires to redeem their lives. The novel is at once a compassionate portrait of innocence and idealism, and an emphatic condemnation of a society where the lines between good and evil are essentially blurred.

Such Is My Beloved is widely considered to be Morley Callaghan's finest novel.

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This one summer

This one summer

Tamaki, Mariko, author
2014

Winner of the Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration

Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.

Sure, Rose's dad is still making cheesy and embarrassing jokes, but her mother is acting like she doesn't even want to be there. Plus, being at the cottage isn't just about going to the beach anymore. Now Rose and Windy are spending a lot of their time renting scary movies and spying on the teenagers who work at the corner store, as well as learning stuff about sex no one mentioned in health class.

Pretty soon everything is messed up. Rose's father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn. While her family is falling to pieces, Rose focuses her attention on Dunc, a teenager working at the local corner store. When Jenny, Dunc's girlfriend, claims to be pregnant, the girls realize that the teenagers are keeping just as many secrets as the adults in their lives.

No one seems to want to talk about the things that matter. When the tension between Dunc and Jenny boils over, Jenny makes a desperate and destructive move and Rose's mother is galvanized into action. In the aftermath, nothing is completely resolved, but secrets have been aired, which means that things are at least a bit better for everyone. For Rose and Windy, the end of summer brings the realization that, while Awago Beach might always be the same, they have both been changed forever.

From Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, creators of the multi-award-winning graphic novel Skim, comes a stunning and authentic story of friendship, illustrated with subtly heart-breaking moments and pure summer joy.

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Three wishes : Palestinian and Israeli children speak

Three wishes : Palestinian and Israeli children speak

Ellis, Deborah, 1960-
2004

Deborah Ellis's enormously popular Breadwinner trilogy recounted the experiences of children living in Afghanistan; now Ellis turns her attention to the young people of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After visiting the region to conduct interviews, she presents their stories here in their own words. Twelve-year-old Nora, eleven-year-old Mohammad, and many others speak directly about their lives -- which prove to be both ordinary and extraordinary: They argue with their siblings. They hate spinach. They have wishes for the future. Yet they have also seen their homes destroyed and families killed, and live amidst constant upheaval and violence.

This simple, telling book allows young readers everywhere to see that the children caught in this conflict are just like them - but living far more difficult and dangerous lives. Without taking sides, it presents an unblinking portrait of children victimized by the endless struggle around them.

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Underground to Canada

Underground to Canada

Smucker, Barbara, 1915-2003, author
2013

There's a place the slaves been whisperin' around called Canada. The law don't allow no slavery there. They say you follow the North Star, and when you step onto this land you are free ......

Taken away from her mother by a ruthless slave trader, all Julilly has left is the dream of freedom. Every day that she spends huddled in the slaver trader's wagon travelling south or working on the brutal new plantation, she thinks about the land where it is possible to be free, a land she and her friend Liza may reach someday. So when workers from the Underground Railroad offer to help the two girls escape, they are ready. But the slave catchers and their dogs will soon be after them .....

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The wars

The wars

Findley, Timothy, author
2017


When everything feels like the movies

When everything feels like the movies

Reid, Raziel, 1990- author
2014

WINNER, Governor General's Literary Award

CBC Canada Reads 2015 Runner-up

An edgy and extravagant YA novel about a glamorous boy named Jude.

School is just like a film set: there's The Crew, who make things happen, The Extras who fill the empty desks, and The Movie Stars, whom everyone wants tagged in their Facebook photos. But Jude doesn't fit in. He's not part of The Crew because he isn't about to do anything unless it's court-appointed; he's not an Extra because nothing about him is anonymous; and he's not a Movie Star because even though everyone knows his name like an A-lister, he isn't invited to the cool parties. As the director calls action, Jude is the flamer that lights the set on fire.

Before everything turns to ashes from the resulting inferno, Jude drags his best friend Angela off the casting couch and into enough melodrama to incite the paparazzi, all while trying to fend off the haters and win the heart of his favourite co-star Luke Morris. It's a total train wreck!

But train wrecks always make the front page.

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Who is Frances Rain?

Who is Frances Rain?

Buffie, Margaret.
2007

In this 20th-anniverary edition of the novel by Margaret Buffie, it's going to be a long, hot summer for 15-year-old Lizzie. Normally a vacation at her grandmother's northern Manitoba cottage is the highlight of the year, but this summer the whole family is going along, including her new stepfather whom she detests. To escape the family's bickering, Lizzie explores a nearby island, where she finds the remains of an old cabin and uncovers a pair of spectacles. When she tries on the old glasses she is surprised to find herself watching a woman and girl from the past. Lizzie is determined to find out who these ghosts are, and why they are appearing to her. Enlisting the help of her grandmother's teenage neighbor, Alex, she puts together clues about the ghosts' identities and in doing so, finds a way to help her estranged family reunite. It's a compelling story, carrying young readers from the present to the past and back again.

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