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Banned Books Week: Encouraging fREADom

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 5:52pm

Imagine your favourite book, or one of your favourite books.

Now think of how you'd feel if you were banned from reading that title again. Or try to think how your life might be different if you'd never been given the chance to read it in the first place.

Terrifying, no? But believe it or not, books are banned from certain establishments, most often schools and libraries, all the time.

To bring awareness to such unfortunate censorship, there is the annual Banned Books Week, otherwise known as Freedom to Read Week. During this event, which this year runs from September 22nd to the 28th, libraries and bookstores, ourselves included, strive to draw attention to the problem of literary censorship. We believe that all books deserve a fair chance, and that no title should be held back from an audience, possibly an adoring audience.

See how we're promoting Banned Books Week after the jump...

During Freedom to Read Week, booksellers around the world are promoting and displaying specific titles that have been banned in the past, or which are currently being challenged in certain locations. In our own store we've established a FREADOM display, showing off books (some of which might surprise you) that have been banned in the past, or which are banned even today.

Here are the titles on our banned books display (seen in the image to the right), each of which is a book that we encourage you to read:

> The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
> Forever... by Judy Blume
> Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
> Crank by Ellen Hopkins
> Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
> Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
> Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
> Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
> The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
> To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
> A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

All of the above books can be found in both of our stores, and we're proud to carry them. Just look for the FREADOM displays. You can also read more about Freedom to Read Week by visiting

Categories: buzz, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Book Lists

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The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Book One)

- Suzanne Collins

Young adult softcover $19.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.99

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlaying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one girl and one boy between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has also resolved to outwit the creators of the games. To do that she will have to be the last person standing at the end of the deadly ordeal, and that will take every ounce of strength and cunning she has.

Fallen Angels

- Walter Dean Myers

Trade paperback $13.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $12.59

An exciting, eye-catching repackage of acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers' bestselling paperbacks, to coincide with the publication of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJA in hardcover.A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is even there at all.


- Kurt Vonnegut

Trade paperback $24.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.46

Slaughterhouse-five is one of the world's great antiwar books. An American classic. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear the most.

Of Mice and Men

- John Steinbeck

Mass market paperback $18.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $16.20


- Vladimir Nabokov

Trade paperback $23.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.70

The Kite Runner

- Khaled Hosseini

Trade paperback $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80

Amir and Hassan are childhood friends in the alleys and orchards of Kabul in the sunny days before the invasion of the Soviet army and Afghanistan’s decent into fanaticism. Both motherless, they grow up as close as brothers, but their fates, they know, are to be different. Amir’s father is a wealthy merchant; Hassan’s father is his manservant. Amir belongs to the ruling caste of Pashtuns, Hassan to the despised Hazaras.

This fragile idyll is broken by the mounting ethnic, religious, and political tensions that begin to tear Afghanistan apart. An unspeakable assault on Hassan by a gang of local boys tears the friends apart; Amir has witnessed his friend’s torment, but is too afraid to intercede. Plunged into self-loathing, Amir conspires to have Hassan and his father turned out of the household.

When the Soviets invade Afghanistan, Amir and his father flee to San Francisco, leaving Hassan and his father to a pitiless fate. Only years later will Amir have an opportunity to redeem himself by returning to Afghanistan to begin to repay the debt long owed to the man who should have been his brother.

Compelling, heartrending, and etched with details of a history never before told in fiction, The Kite Runner is a story of the ways in which we’re damned by our moral failures, and of the extravagant cost of redemption.

To Kill a Mockingbird

- Harper Lee

Trade paperback $21.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $18.90

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century.

Modern Classics a Clockwork Orange

- Anthony Burgess, Blake Morrison

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Reader Reward Price: $15.29

"Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times

Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism.Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil.In this recording, the author's voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted.

"I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange]." -William S. Burroughs

Recognized as one of the literary geniuses of our time, Anthony Burgess produced thirty-two novels, a volume of verse, sixteen works of nonfiction, and two plays.Originally a composer, his creative output also included countless musical compositions, including symphonies, operas, and jazz.The author's musicality is evident in the lyrical and dramatic reading he gives in this recording.Anthony Burgess died in 1993