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The Golden Compass gets yanked in Calgary, too

And on it goes: another school board has pulled Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass from its shelves following a parental complaint “ this despite the fact that the book was published more than 10 years ago, and thus has been quietly corrupting youth ever since.

From The Globe and Mail:

The Roman Catholic school board in Calgary has followed the lead of a Catholic school board in Burlington, Ont., in pulling the children’s fantasy book The Golden Compass off school shelves.

Board officials said their decision followed concern voiced by parents and recent publicity surrounding the release of a movie version of the book, starring Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman.

Our children are exposed to a wide range of information, said board spokeswoman Judy Mackay. One of our responsibilities is to help them understand how that fits with their belief system and to equip them with the skills so that they understand how they can fit that into their own belief system.

It should be noted that, though these Catholic school boards seem to have the intestinal fortitude of a wounded llama, most Catholics are not quite so easily spooked. From the same article: “Calgary Bishop Fred Henry said there are more pressing issues facing Catholics than debating a children’s fantasy novel.”

In a similar vein, Toronto Star Books editor Dan Smith wrote a brief piece about the book in this past weekend’s edition (not online), stating that: “in our practising Catholic household, The Golden Compass remains a treasured read. It spurs kids to think and question. Good. That’s what great books are for.”