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

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  36 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Tundra Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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AdiTurbo
Aug 09, 2015 AdiTurbo rated it really liked it
A very enlightening short history of reading and writing, and the politics thereof. I learned a lot I didn't know, especially about the Far Eastern history of reading and writing. It was amazing to discover the amount of power these so-called 'simple' actions give people, and how much governments and societies are afraid of this power. A good and interesting read.
Andrea O'Brien
Oct 25, 2014 Andrea O'Brien rated it really liked it
I was really surprised to find this book in the local library. The book was sitting on a small display case - its title and overall presentation caught my eye and I opened it to read the introduction. The introduction is very well written and it instantly made me interested in the book. I thought about the book for several days before deciding to bring it home.

Being a fan of both history and young adult books I was delighted to find a book that combines both and a little surprised by its existe
...more
Elizabeth C.
Fascinating and kid-friendly history of reading and, more specifically, the *right* to read, told in anecdotes from ancient Baghdad to Renaissance Europe to modern-day Afghanistan. Entertaining and timely.
Christine
Jul 11, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
Each chapter discusses different topics, all related to reading, such as: the first poem to be written and signed (Iraq, 4,000 years ago); languages lost and found again; William Tyndale, Thomas More and the publishing of the Bible in English. Fascinating glimpse into the history of reading through the ages.
Kevin Waggoner
Apr 11, 2010 Kevin Waggoner rated it it was amazing
Engrossing details about some of histories most enthralling atrocities to books. I learned details about some of histories most atrocious literature events, some I did not know, some I didn't know all the details. I would highly recommend this book to all literature lovers.
Liz
The subject matter was very interesting. However, there were several grammatical errors throughout the book, which deterred my enjoyment. I hope that the errors were from a poor transfer from book to e-book, and were not in the original copy.
Emily
Oct 24, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
I loved the way this read and gave me great history and insight. Everyone that reads will appreciate it.
Yvonne
Sep 15, 2008 Yvonne rated it really liked it
From ancient Sumerian cuneform to the enigma code machine of World War II, this book is full of fascinating trivia about words. A junior non-fiction.
Donna F.
Jun 15, 2015 Donna F. rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school
Words are powerful... and it is fear that makes others censor them.
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Feb 25, 2011 Mark Flowers rated it liked it
eh.
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