Entertainment

Toronto-area Catholic school board bans Pullman fantasy trilogy

After yanking The Golden Compass from its library shelves for review, a Toronto-area Catholic school board has decided to make the removal permanent, according to a report.

After yanking The Golden Compass from its library shelves for review, a Toronto-area Catholic school board has decided to make the removal permanent.

At a board meeting Tuesday evening, the trustees of the Halton District Catholic School Board voted to ban the title as well as the remaining two books in atheist author Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy: The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

A committee struck to review The Golden Compass had proposed moving the book to the young adult section of school libraries, but the trustees rejected that proposition and approved a ban instead.

The nine-member board deemed the books "not in line with our governing values," board chair Alice Anne LeMay said, according to the Toronto Star.

In late November, the Halton board joined the Durham and Dufferin-Peel Catholic school boards in conducting a review of The Golden Compass, the first book of Pullman's children's fantasy trilogy, after receiving a formal written request.

A memo to principals said there were concerns the books were "anti-God, anti-Catholic and anti-religion," and elementary school officials were instructed not to distribute book club flyers that had The Golden Compass available for purchase.

Published in 1995, Pullman's The Golden Compass has returned to the public eye because ofthe new blockbuster film adaptation of the fantasy tale that hit theatres this month.

The book, voted the best children's book in the last 70 years by readers around the world earlier this year, has drawn high praise andcondemnation. The Vatican newspaper waded into the debate this week, criticizing the new film and Pullman.

Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy follows the adventures of a young orphan travelling through a wondrous realm full of otherworldly creatures. The younggirl must save her best friend and face off against an evil, church-like governing body known as the Magisterium.