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You Can't Read This: Forbidden Books, Lost Writing, Mistranslations & Codes

Val Ross


PUBLISHED: 4th April 2006
ISBN: 9780887767326
ANNOTATION:
Wherever people can read, there are stories about the magic, mystery, and power of what they read. Val Ross presents a history of reading that is, in fact, the story of the monumental, on-going struggle to read. From Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon the Great, the world's oldest signed author to Empress Shotoku of Japan who in 764 ordered the printing of one million Buddhist prayers; from the story of Hulagu, Ghengis Khan's nasty brother who destroyed the library of Baghdad to Bowdler and the censorship of Shakespeare, there have been barriers to reading ranging from the physical to the economical, social, and political. Written for children ages ten and up, "You Can't Read This" explores the development of alphabets, the decoding of ancient languages, and censorship in Ancient Rome and modern America. It's about secret writing, trashed libraries, writers on the run, writers in hiding, books that are thought to have magical powers and mistranslations that started wars. It's about people: from the American slave Frederick Douglass to girls in Afghanistan in the year 2001 who defied laws that prevented them from learning to read. What do all these stories have in common? They're all about how texts contain power - and how people everywhere throughout history have devoted their wills and their brains to reading and unleashing the power of the word. With lavish illustrations and an index, this is history at its finest.
You Can't Read This: Forbidden Books, Lost Writing, Mistranslations & Codes
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PUBLISHED: 4th April 2006
ISBN: 9780887767326
ANNOTATION:
Wherever people can read, there are stories about the magic, mystery, and power of what they read. Val Ross presents a history of reading that is, in fact, the story of the monumental, on-going struggle to read. From Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon the Great, the world's oldest signed author to Empress Shotoku of Japan who in 764 ordered the printing of one million Buddhist prayers; from the story of Hulagu, Ghengis Khan's nasty brother who destroyed the library of Baghdad to Bowdler and the censorship of Shakespeare, there have been barriers to reading ranging from the physical to the economical, social, and political. Written for children ages ten and up, "You Can't Read This" explores the development of alphabets, the decoding of ancient languages, and censorship in Ancient Rome and modern America. It's about secret writing, trashed libraries, writers on the run, writers in hiding, books that are thought to have magical powers and mistranslations that started wars. It's about people: from the American slave Frederick Douglass to girls in Afghanistan in the year 2001 who defied laws that prevented them from learning to read. What do all these stories have in common? They're all about how texts contain power - and how people everywhere throughout history have devoted their wills and their brains to reading and unleashing the power of the word. With lavish illustrations and an index, this is history at its finest.

Annotation

Wherever people can read, there are stories about the magic, mystery, and power of what they read. Val Ross presents a history of reading that is, in fact, the story of the monumental, on-going struggle to read. From Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon the Great, the world's oldest signed author to Empress Shotoku of Japan who in 764 ordered the printing of one million Buddhist prayers; from the story of Hulagu, Ghengis Khan's nasty brother who destroyed the library of Baghdad to Bowdler and the censorship of Shakespeare, there have been barriers to reading ranging from the physical to the economical, social, and political. Written for children ages ten and up, "You Can't Read This" explores the development of alphabets, the decoding of ancient languages, and censorship in Ancient Rome and modern America. It's about secret writing, trashed libraries, writers on the run, writers in hiding, books that are thought to have magical powers and mistranslations that started wars. It's about people: from the American slave Frederick Douglass to girls in Afghanistan in the year 2001 who defied laws that prevented them from learning to read. What do all these stories have in common? They're all about how texts contain power - and how people everywhere throughout history have devoted their wills and their brains to reading and unleashing the power of the word. With lavish illustrations and an index, this is history at its finest.

Publisher Description

Wherever people can read, there are stories about the magic, mystery, and power of what they read. Val Ross presents a history of reading that is, in fact, the story of the monumental, on-going struggle to read. From Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon the Great, the world's oldest signed author to Empress Shotoku of Japan who in 764 ordered the printing of one million Buddhist prayers; from the story of Hulagu, Ghengis Khan's nasty brother who destroyed the library of Baghdad to Bowdler and the censorship of Shakespeare, there have been barriers to reading ranging from the physical to the economical, social, and political. Written for children ages ten and up, You Can't Read This explores the development of alphabets, the decoding of ancient languages, and censorship in Ancient Rome and modern America. It's about secret writing, trashed libraries, writers on the run, writers in hiding, books that are thought to have magical powers and mistranslations that started wars. It's about people: from the American slave Frederick Douglass to girls in Afghanistan in the year 2001 who defied laws that prevented them from learning to read.

What do all these stories have in common?

They're all about how texts contain power - and how people everywhere throughout history have devoted their wills and their brains to reading and unleashing the power of the word.

With lavish illustrations and an index, this is history at its finest.

Author Biography

Val Ross was a renowned journalist and won a National Newspaper Award. She was highly respected throughout the publishing industry for her coverage of books and the people who create them. She was an arts reporter at "The Globe and Mail" and her first book, The Road to There: Mapmakers and Their Stories was nominated for many awards and won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's non-fiction. Val Ross passed away in 2008.
This is her long-awaited first adult book.

Review

Praise for The Road to There "Filled with details and insights and written with a storyteller's touch, this book will simultaneously inform and fascinate readers." -- School Library Journal [starred review]

"Ross covers plenty of historical ground in this wide-ranging discussion of maps and mapmakers.... An eclectic presentation... fascinating to young people..." -- Booklist

"In 13 chapters (or stories), Ross charts a route, notable for its verve, vitality and scholarship .... [N]ew worlds will be sensed if not seen by her readers as they travel with her from There to Here." -- The Globe and Mail

..".engaging... The most extraordinary feature is that the author...uses a short-story style, combining facts with a distinct narrative voice." -- VOYA

Product Details

Author
Val Ross
Short Title
YOU CANT READ THIS
Pages
140
Publisher
Tundra Books (NY)
Language
English
ISBN-10
088776732X
ISBN-13
9780887767326
Media
Book
Format
Hardcover
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2006
Publication Date
2006-04-30
Audience Age
11-15
Subtitle
Forbidden Books, Lost Writing, Mistranslations & Codes
Country of Publication
Canada