The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife

Written by Philip Pullman
Part of the His Dark Materials S. Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Film tie-in version. The second in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. His ‘Dark Materials’, is the story of Lyra, a young girl with an exceptional destiny. Brought up in Jordan College, Oxford Lyra uncovers a secret about her mysterious guardian which leads to some dangerous questioning. It also marks the beginning of Lyra’s search for her friend Roger, a search that takes her to the ice kingdoms of the North where armoured bears rule. Lyra’s courage and stubborn determination lead her on this mission of incredible danger in this brilliant and imaginative story. It’s completely original and totally spellbinding; a true classic that will stand the test of time much in the way Tolkien’s famous work has done.


The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

This is just one book in our collection of Golden Compass books. Just click on the books below to find out more about the rest.

northern lights subtle knife amber spy glass

There are worlds beyond our own - the Compass will show the way... The second novel in Philip Pullman's epic His Dark Materials trilogy. The first, Northern Lights, is now the stunning motion picture The Golden Compass, made by New Line Cinema and Scholastic Media. The Subtle Knife brings Lyra to an eerie city where she meets a mysterious boy - a murderer. Will's fate is strangely linked with hers, and together they must find a powerful and secret object which people from many worlds would kill to possess.

About the Author

Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular.

From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke.

His most well-known work is the trilogy His Dark Materials, beginning with Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the USA) in 1995, continuing with The Subtle Knife in 1997, and concluding with The Amber Spyglass in 2000. These books have been honoured by several prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, and (for The Amber Spyglass) the Whitbread Book of the Year Award - the first time in the history of that prize that it was given to a children's book.

Northern Lights won the Carnegie Medal in 1996, and ten years later it was awarded the Carnegie of Carnegies, chosen by readers from all the books that have won this medal in the 70 years since it was first awarded. In 2001 The Amber Spyglass became the first children’s book to win the overall Whitbread Award (now known as the Costa Award).

In 2002 he won the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature and in 2005 jointly won the Astrid Lindgren Award with the Japanese illustrator Ryoji Arai. This is a wonderful international honour given by the Swedish government to writers, or illustrators, or others connected with bringing books to children.

Philip still lives in Oxford, and he writes in a shed at the bottom of his garden.

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Book Info


368 pages


Philip Pullman
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Publication date

6th August 2007




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