Once Upon A Time In The North by Philip Pullman

Once Upon A Time In The North

Written by Philip Pullman
Part of the His Dark Materials Series

11+ readers   Audio Books   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A wonderful tale from a master storyteller, giving us, just as Lyra’s Oxford did, more extraordinary insight into the world of Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’. This one tells the story of the very first meeting in the far frozen Arctic of two legends and friends from the trilogy, Lee Scoresby, the Texan balloonist, and Iorek Byrnison, the armoured bear. It’s a mesmerising episode with wonderfully page-turning qualities and written in just 100 pages and beautifully packaged too complete with a thrilling board game. This title is also availble on CD audio.


Once Upon A Time In The North by Philip Pullman

When Lyra is studying at Oxford University, she comes across the story of Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrnisson's first meeting, many years ago, along with much evidence of the adventure that brought them together. When a young Texan balloonist, Lee Scoresby, comes down to earth in the harbour of an Arctic town in the North, little does he realise that he is about to be embroiled in an out-and-out political brawl. Lee and his daemon, Hester, find themselves the target of political factions trying to take over the running (and oil) of the town. And also resident in the town are huge arctic bears, ignored and patronised by the people and treated like second-class citizens. When Lee and Iorek first meet, they cement a friendship that will continue throughout their lives, as the tensions and pressure in town lead to a deadly conclusion... Once Upon a Time in the North contains a board game, Peril of the Pole, complete with spinner, game board and pieces, all beautifully illustrated and rendered by master engraver, John Lawrence.


Exuberant, intelligent fun ... Once again Pullman has created a work of art that is enchanting for a child but equally appealing to an adult -- Amanda Craig The Times Tantalisingly short, irresistibly snappy and full of dangerous derring-do Independent This is a real treat, and easily one of the publishing hightlights of the year that will be devoured by fans old and new The Bookseller Small and elegant, the book is exquisitely illustrated with woodcuts by John Lawrence and rounded off with bits of memorabilia including a newspaper clipping giving a different spin on events plus a board game. Fast and powerful, this is an exciting read -- Anne Faundez Carousel A short, simple, elegant story ... cloth-bound, with enhancing woodcuts by master-engraver John Lawrence -- Claudia Fitzherbert Spectator

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


112 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Philip Pullman
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Random House Children's Books

Publication date

3rd April 2008




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