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Home arrow Censorship arrow Plucky reader honoured for book's defence
Plucky reader honoured for book's defence PDF Print E-mail
Feb 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Toronto Star, Feb. 28.
Tess Kalinowski
Education Reporter

A Burlington Grade 5 student has become the first child to receive the Writers' Union of Canada's Freedom to Read Award.

Evie Freedman, 10, is being honoured for her spirited defence last year of the controversial book, Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Simcoe author Deborah Ellis.

The book was pulled out of circulation in some Ontario school libraries, including those in the Toronto and York public boards, after the Canadian Jewish Congress complained it was an inappropriate selection for the Ontario Library Association's Silver Birch reading awards program.

The Halton public board, where Evie attends Charles R. Beaudoin Public School , did not pull the book.

But children like her are among the most affected by book bans, said Ron Brown, chair of the writers' union.

Because of Evie, "we were able to get the message of freedom to read to students of that age," he said.

An ardent fan of Ellis' books, Evie was widely quoted in the press objecting to the censorship of Three Wishes.

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Gaza's Ark organizers remain determined after attack
Gaza's Ark was badly damaged and partially sunk by a large explosion  at about 3:45 AM Gaza time on April 29th. No-one was injured. Mustafa Abu Awad, the guard who was on duty at the time, was taken to the hospital for tests and he has now been discharged.

The Ark was in the port of Gaza being readied to put to sea in June. Whether and when the boat can be repaired is something we will not know for sure until it can be pulled out of the water for inspection.

Awad said he had been warned to leave the area by an anonymous caller. "I was [sleeping] near the boat and someone phoned me -- an unidentified caller. I answered and he told me: 'Mustafa, leave the boat right now because we are going to blow it up.'"
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