Teacher Guide

The Golden Compass Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass was first published in the United Kingdom in 1995, under the title Northern Lights. The novel has received considerable critical and scholarly praise, and has been the subject of considerable controversy and backlash. It features prominently on banned books lists in the United States, primarily because the text can be considered highly critical of religious institutions. The author Philip Pullman, an atheist, has said, “It's not the presence of Christian doctrine I object to so much as the absence of Christian virtue.” The Golden Compass was adapted into a poorly-received film in 2007, which was both criticized by Pullman's fans for cutting out the novel's critique of...

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