The Bare Naked Talk

Who knew that talking about book censorship with university students (and assorted others) would be so much fun?

The room at St. Jerome’s in Waterloo was packed last night – a great start – and people responded with great laughter and affection to readings from a few of my books that have been deemed by some as ‘required reading’ and some as ‘inappropriate’ for their intended readership (101 Ways to Dance, Becoming Ruby, and yes, even The Bare Naked Book). They also responded with thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. And of course it was heartening to see all the books that Words Worth Books had brought to the event going home with future teachers, librarians, and family support workers.

Topping off the evening was a lovely, relaxed meal with two of my writer-friends from Waterloo, including Nan Forler whose first book, Bird Child, will be published this fall.

Freedom to Read Week is coming up soon. Find out about censorship issues, challenges to books in Canada, and events being planned in your community at the Freedom to Read website.

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Nan Forler on February 12, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hi Kathy,
    I really enjoyed last night too. I loved seeing you in action at the lecture and watching the faces of all the students, looking so enthralled with your writing. Didn’t you love that?
    By the way, I didn’t give our discussion a second thought. It is so strange to see the huge discrepancies between Canadian and American publishers and I can imagine that it is quite unsettling for you after so many years of work. There is something that makes me feel an obligation to be faithful to Canadian publishers and yet, the lure is certainly there. Maybe it’s the Barack factor that makes it seem less dirty, somehow.
    So, Liberia tomorrow….I have to say, I felt so inspired all day today about your trip. What an amazing gift to give. I kept thinking today about the stories you told us about the schools and wondering where those teachers would even start. My whole year has been about finding ways to get kids with zero literacy experience to gain some pre-reading skills, so my head was sizzling thinking about it.
    Also, if you do get a chance to find a class or more that could be partnered, let me know. My own school would likely not be in a good position to give large scale aid, but I know Dillon’s teacher would be on board to do something with me and I know of others who would too. I think people want to help, if given the opportunity, but sometimes don’t know where to start.
    Thanks for checking out my book cover. I am so excited about it! I’m happy to hear that Peter likes it as well. I still feel sad that it didn’t work out with Red Deer as I would have loved to have had Peter as editor, but I do believe that Peter and Kathryn may be cut from a similar cloth. She has been wonderfully encouraging and quite mothering with me and with the book.
    Well Kathy, I hope you have a wonderful trip. I’m sure you’ll come home changed, somehow. I will send up some Catholic/Mennonite prayers and good thoughts for you while you’re gone. I’m sure you will be surrounded by wondrous karma on such an important trip.
    Be good. Stay safe.
    Peace and Love,

  2. Lorna on February 19, 2009 at 5:42 am

    We loved having you read and visit at SJU, Kathy! thank you for the great, thought-provoking talk. We hope to have you back soon. xo LR

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