Friday, November 23, 2007

Golden Compass

The Toronto Star reports that Halton's Catholic board has pulled The Golden Compass from school library shelves, pending a review by its trustees. Author Philip Pullman, who describes himself as an atheist, apparently wrote the series His Dark Materials as a response to C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (which ironically have been challenged themselves).

Read a synopsis of The Golden Compass. It was voted the best children's book in the past 70 years by readers across the globe, according to news articles. Although it was published in 1995, the controversy is unfolding now because it has been made into a movie which will be released soon. Students can ask librarians for the book but it will not be displayed on shelves.

Toronto Star readers have voiced their opinions, many coming out in support of the presence of the book in schools.


Nicol DuMoulin said...

I find this is a complex issue. I believe the Catholic School Board in Halton should allow the book, but the notion that books are not banned in the public school system in Toronto is ludicrous.

Many books deemed non-pc for issues of race, gender and sexual orientation are routinely taken out of the curriculum or libraries but because they are older and the censorship is coming from the left it is not acknowledged.

Again, I think the Halton school board should allow the book. But the hypocrisy on this one is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I didnot read your blog sorry but I will read The Golden Compass to my 4 year old daughter. can't express how sad it make me feal to hear about any type of supression. thanks. Intolerance is Intolerable

Anonymous said...

I am not a religious man, but I do respect the fact that many do follow a religious belief. However, there are always some members of religious groups who tend to be extreme and want to pose their beliefs on other, even at the expense of the rights of those who follow other beliefs, including those who do not believe in a god. To those of you have banned the Golden Compass in Canadian School Boards, I have three comments. First, the book is a fantasy book, not fact. Second, what ever happened to our freedom to decide what we should read or not. Some material is banned because it promotes illegal acts (and then again many of those types of books are not banned). However, questioning religion is not illegal…it is a natural and I am sure everyone has at one point or another. I have heard that the Golden Compass and the related books in the series are molding children’s minds and thus should be banned. What? Is that not how religion gets most of its followers, by molding minds at a very young age? I have a problem when public taxes pay for schools that have such short-sightedness. If I were a school teacher, administer, etc, I would be happy that the students are reading...period. Schools are meant to be places where students learn the basics (math, reading, writing, etc), but they are also places that should allow students to explore new theories and ideas so that they can become independent thinkers. The banning of this book is just one more example of why schools….all schools should be secular. In addition, the banning of a children’s fantasy book because it brings children on a journey where the religious rulers are corrupt and try to keep people from seeing the truth is really silly….all students need to do is open any history book. In fact the banning of the book actually support’s the idea that this fantasy story is closer to the truth than fiction.