Friday, February 20, 2009

Kathy Stinson goes to Liberia!

Annick author Kathy Stinson is currently in Liberia working with authors and teachers on CODE's newest project, "Reading Liberia." In addition, she is helping to select manuscripts from Liberian authors for publication. Follow Kathy's experiences on her blog.

The aim of "Reading Liberia" is to increase literacy rates among children in Liberia, to train educators to better use books in the classroom, and to help establish a local publishing industry. For more information on the early stages of this project, please see CODE executive director Scott Walter’s article or read about the project on CODE's blog.

CODE works with local organizations throughout the developing world to empower children to learn and in so doing, delivers an essential, sustainable development solution that endures. Their programs support libraries and teacher training as well as national and local book publishing in more than 17 languages in Africa and the Caribbean.

CODE and IBBY Canada, sister organizations, are in the process of soliciting volunteer mentors, Canadian children's authors, editors, and designers who are willing to share their expertise online with Liberian authors and publishers to produce books for children ages 7-12.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Freedom to Read Week, acclaimed Canadian authors, editors, and publishers are gathering in Toronto and Edmonton to read outrageously entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking books for young readers.

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.

Tuesday, February 24
7pm onwards!
Revival Bar
783 College Street, Toronto
$15, Tickets available at the door

* 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.

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

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.

Thursday, February 26
7 pm - 9:30pm
Grant MacEwan Conference Theatre
5-142 10700 - 104 Avenue, Edmonton
Admission is free of charge.

*Greg Hollingshead, Myrna Kostash, Linda Goyette, Todd Babiak, Jocelyne Verret, Caterina Edwards, Kuot Alith and Theresa Saffa will read from children's and young adult books that have been challenged. You might hear excerpts from Kevin Major's Hold Fast, which was banned for containing foul language, mild sexual content and - egad! - bad grammar; Dennis Lee's Lizzy's Lion, which is apparently too violent and promotes cannibalism; Gwen Molnar's I Said to Sam, which according to one principal had words like "exotic" and "elaborate" which were far too difficult for grade two students.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time To Laugh

Guest Artist: Quincy Bullen

DATE: Saturday, February 28th, 2009
TIME: 7:30 pm
LOCATION: Wyndham Garden Hotel 185 Yorkland Blvd. Toronto (401 & Don Valley)

Adult: $30.00 Child: $20.00 up to age 15 yrs.

Ticket outlets:
A Different Book List.... 416 538 0889
Rome Travel............... 416 654 2434
Hair Dome.................. 416 754 0822

Time to Laugh

Written & Performed by Richardo Keens-Douglas

Time to Laugh is a wonderful storytelling /comedy one man show for the whole family. It is the kind of show that will take you back to the days when you used to sit outside with family and friends on a full moon night and reminisce or tell tales that will make you laugh or scared to fall asleep without the light on. Time to Laugh has a rhythm of it's own - Richardo Keens-Douglas will mesmerize you with his tales of Mama God & Papa God, Hurricane Ivan that almost devastated Grenada a few years ago, then he will spilt your sides with laughter when he tells the story of Flight 000, a guy who is scared of flying, and To Ski Or Not To Ski, a tale about an immigrant going skiing for the first time. Then he will move you to tears in Freedom Child of the Sea, then scare you up the stairs with La Diablesse, and in-between all of that, jokes for days. It is a "Time to Laugh".

"Richardo Keens-Douglas is an extraordinary storyteller, his tales overflowing with every required ingredient of the really good, spellbinding story: gossip, folklore, legend, superstition, suspense and quirky, insightful comedy."- Donna Marie Artuso, The Edmonton Sunday Sun

"Keens-Douglas weaves spell at Little Carib."- Gizelle Morris, Trinidad Guardian

"Keens-Douglas should be held responsible for all those sore ribs and aching throats, with his laugh a minute routine."- Sam Donkoh, Share Newspaper - Toronto

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Murder at the OLA

Unsuspecting librarians walking past the Firefly booth at this year's OLA Super Conference, did a double take when they saw author Liz MacLeod signing her much-acclaimed book, Royal Murder. To get into the swing of things, she offered librarians a lovely golden "crown" to wear while she sported a bloody dagger. Royal+Murder. Get it? (Those are Liz's words, not mine!) Many of those waiting in line had already read the book, but wanted a second copy to share with others. "Great book!" "Even my son, who never reads anything, loved this book!" "I've already ordered two for the library, so this one will be used as a prize." These were only some of the comments from the librarians who were thrilled to meet Liz and delighted to walk off with a signed copy of the book.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009