Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass engrossed me. It is a rare children’s book that has a strong message, challenging vocabulary, and an appeal to readers of all ages. When I started reading Philip Pullman’s novel, I could not put it down for anything! Suddenly, there was a lot more free reading time in English class and a lot fewer dinner plans made.

I love the way Pullman created his alternate version of our world. My favorite aspect is that every character has a daemon, an animal version of their soul that accompanies them everywhere. As a child, the daemon changes form but settles its shape as the person ages. Much of my non-reading time was spent thinking about what my loved ones’ daemons would be. I read an article in which Pullman stated that if you ask several people what animal represents your soul, eventually there will be a theme. In case you’re wondering, my soul is that of a bear cub! I’m okay with that.

As the “His Dark Materials” trilogy goes on, the storyline gets darker, more complex, and to be more of a commentary on religion. I ended up stopping halfway through the last novel. Still, The Golden Compass stands alone as a beautiful piece of fantasy fiction.

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