Banned Book of the Day: The Call of the Wild

As the celebration of Banned Book week continues, I wanted to spotlight a few of the books that have been challenged or banned.  Today the spotlight falls on Jack London‘s novel The Call of the Wild.



Published in 1903, the story is set in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush. It’s a time when gold is high in demand and strong sled dogs were needed to conquer the snowy Alaskan wilderness. The novel’s story focuses on a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in California. He’s stolen and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog. As he adjusts to his new life, he reverts to ancient dog traits, and  is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments, fight to dominate other dogs, and survive in a harsh climate. Eventually he leaves the instincts of civilization behind relying only on his primordial instincts, emerging as a leader in the wild.

The Call of the Wild was one of the books featured in the Library of CongressBooks that Shaped America,” exhibit. The exhibit features that books that “have had a profound effect on American life.”

So why is this book challenged? From

“Generally hailed as Jack London’s best work, The Call of the Wild is commonly challenged for its dark tone and bloody violence. Because it is seen as a man-and-his-dog story, it is sometimes read by adolescents and subsequently challenged for age-inappropriateness. Not only have objections been raised here, the book was banned in Italy, Yugoslavia and burned in bonfires in Nazi Germany in the late 1920s and early 30s because it was considered “too radical.””

One thought on “Banned Book of the Day: The Call of the Wild

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.