His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The Lovereading4Kids comment

The three volumes of this award-winning trilogy are beautifully presented in this mighty single volume. Set in two parallel universes, the story of Lyra, a young orphan and her demon Pantalaimon begins in Oxford. Swept up in a dangerous plot against children, Lyra and Pantalaimon set off for the frozen north on a terrifying mission to save the children from their terrible fate. The subsequent volumes follows Lyra on her quest to discover more about the mysterious substance, Dust. One of the finest contemporary books, His Dark Materials enjoyed by adults as children alike.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The extraordinary story moves between parallel universes. Beginning in Oxford, it takes Lyra and her animal-daemon Pantalaimon on a dangerous rescue mission to the ice kingdoms of the far North, where she begins to learn about the mysterious particles they call Dust - a substance for which a terrible war between different worlds will be fought... This trilogy is one of the great imaginative works in the English language. And it contains one of the bestillains in all literature . (Terry Jones). Philip Pullman has won the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Fiction Award, the Children's Book of the Year - British Book Awards, the Whitbread Book of the Year, the Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Astrid Lindgren Award.

His Dark Materials was chosen by the public as one of ‘the ten books the nation can’t live without’.

Have you read them all? Below are links to each title and position on the list.

2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

4. Harry Potter by JK Rowling

6. The Bible

8. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

10. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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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1024 pages


Philip Pullman
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Publication date

4th October 2012




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