by Jemi Fraser
February 26 - March 3, 2012 is Freedom to Read week in Canada. This is similar to Banned Book week in the US and probably similar weeks all over the world. I feel strongly about allowing people the freedom to choose what to read. My students read independently each and every day. They choose their own books from my rather enormous classroom library or bring in their own books. They always choose well. I talked more about this here.
I was one of those lucky kids. My parents were fabulous. They encouraged us to do our best no matter what the task and encouraged us to make our own choices from an early age. Those choices included reading material.
I'd devoured the kids' section in the library before I finished grade 6. Sadly, YA didn't exist back then. I ventured into the adult section. Was I too young? Did I read things that were above my head and inappropriate? I don't think so. I learned things, but nothing overwhelmed me or made me feel uncomfortable.
One of those adult series I read was James Herriot's Vet series (also known as All Creatures Great and Small). If you haven't read them, Herriot was a English veterinarian who visited local farms and dealt with, well, just about everything. Herriot's books are full of vet stories, humour, relationships and life. Adult life. I learned a lot. :)
I also started reading Agatha Christie's books in grade 6. And Tolkien's. I read about death. Evil. Murder. Greed. Lust. Corruption.
Along with honour. Truth. Loyalty. Logic. Love. Perseverance. Integrity. Teamwork. Courage.
I learned good defeats evil and that love, all kinds of love, is powerful.
So, yeah, I support Freedom to Read.
What was the first adult book you read? Did it affect you? Positively or negatively?
Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of romantic mysteries. She blogs and tweets while searching for those HEAs.