A book that has been challenged in Canadian schools
By Toni Duval
In Canada, Freedom to Read Week is February 18-24 and this year it will celebrate its 40th anniversary “representing 40 years of dedication to freedom of expression, a fundamental right of all Canadians”. This month, the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) is highlighting texts that have been challenged in Canadian schools. For a book to be challenged, it means there has been an attempt to remove or restrict these materials by a person or a group.
These books have been challenged for positive depiction of same-sex parents or content that could be harmful to Indigenous students and families. For two of the books we are highlighting, the challenges were not upheld, and continue to be available in classrooms and school libraries across the country. For Salma Writes a Book (as of this posting), it is still among four books about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community being shadow banned at a Canadian school board.
NOTE: For Young Adult titles, check out the FOLD’s February Reading Challenge which features two titles for teens.
The Great Bear by David A. Robertson (Middle Grade)
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?
Salma Writes a Book by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron (Chapter Book)
Salma’s determined to be the best sister ever, so she sets out to write the ultimate guidebook to siblinghood. But the more Salma learns about siblings, the more confused she gets, especially since her mama is fighting with her own brother, Khalou Dawood, about who he loves. Can Salma figure out what it means to be a good sister before the baby arrives?
Follow us on social media