Saturday, February 26, 2011

Challenged Books

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (2000)

2000: Terry Lewis, a member of the Reform party’s national executive council, complained about the use of this novel by Winnipeg’s River East School Division and called for the book’s removal from school reading lists. The novel has been targeted in other school jurisdictions across Canada as well.

Cause of objection: Lewis, who distributed 10,000 copies of a pamphlet arguing against the book, said that Steinbeck’s frequent use of “God,” “God-damned,” and “Jesus” in profane and blasphemous ways offended Christians and couldn’t possibly have any educational benefit.

Update: The River East School Division took no action. This objection and its disposition echoed an incident in Alberta in 1994, when a member of the legislature demanded that the novel be withdrawn from all high school reading lists in the province.

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