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Philip Pullman - book author

In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children's literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006. He is most famous for his His Dark Materials trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature free-thought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series' villain. Pullman told The New York Times in 2000: "When you look at what C.S. Lewis is saying, his message is so anti-life, so cruel, so unjust. The view that the Narnia books have for the material world is one of almost undisguised contempt. At one point, the old professor says, 'It's all in Plato'—meaning that the physical world we see around us is the crude, shabby, imperfect, second-rate copy of something much better. I want to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife." He argues for a "republic of heaven" here on Earth.

In 2007, the first novel of the His Dark Materials trilogy was adopted into the motion picture The Golden Compass by New Line Cinema. Many churches and Christian organizations, including the Catholic League, called for a boycott of the film due to the books' atheist themes. While the film was successful in Europe and moderately received in the United States, the other two books in the trilogy were not be adapted into film, possibly due to pressure from the Catholic Church. When questioned about the anti-church views in His Dark Materials, Pullman explains in an interview for Third Way (UK): “It comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches—and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban. Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don't accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It's still going on" (Feb. 2002). Pullman has received many threats by ardent believers over his choice of subject matter.

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Philip Pullman is the author of books: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass, His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3), La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1), Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version, The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1), Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials, #3.5), The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart, #2), The Tiger in the Well (Sally Lockhart, #3)

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01
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want--but what Lyra doesn't know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other.
02
The second instalment in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, join Lyra as her terrifying journey continues.

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She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy?

The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer.

When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once.

Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld – Cittàgazze, where soul-eating Spectres stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky.

But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power.

And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat – and the shattering truth of their own destiny.
03
Will is the bearer of the knife. Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel - by the command of his dying father.

But how can he go looking for Lord Asriel when Lyra is gone? Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and intrigues that beset him.

The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for war, and Will must find Lyra, for together they are on their way to battle, an inevitable journey that will even take them to the world of the dead...
04
The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass are available together in one volume perfect for any fan or newcomer to this modern fantasy classic series.

These thrilling adventures tell the story of Lyra and Will—two ordinary children on a perilous journey through shimmering haunted otherworlds. They will meet witches and armored bears, fallen angels and soul-eating specters. And in the end, the fate of both the living—and the dead—will rely on them.

Phillip Pullman’s spellbinding His Dark Materials trilogy has captivated readers for over twenty years and won acclaim at every turn. It will have you questioning everything you know about your world and wondering what really lies just out of reach.
05
Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy...

Malcolm's father runs an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his dæmon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue.

He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust--and the spy it was intended for finds him.

When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, Malcolm sees suspicious characters everywhere; Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; an Egyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a dæmon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl--just a baby--named Lyra.

Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.
06
Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.
07
Sally is sixteen and uncommonly pretty. Her knowledge of English literature, French, history, art and music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol.

When her dear father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally is left to fend for herself, an orphan and alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Though she doesn't know it, Sally is already in terrible danger. Soon the mystery and the danger will deepen - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke...
08
Lyra's Oxford begins with Lyra and Pantalaimon spotting a witch's dæmon. Lyra shelters the daemon from the pursuit of a frenzied pack of birds, and then attempts to help by guiding the daemon to the home of an alchemist living in a part of Oxford known as Jericho. The journey through Oxford reveals more dangers than Lyra had anticipated.
09
"Fraud, fire, and bloody murder pursue Sally Lockhart in a fine sequel to
"The Ruby in the Smoke." Sally, now 22, is in business as a financial
consultant. When she and her friends challenge corrupt financial interests,
they find themselves in a web of intrigue that stretches from fetid slums of
the poor to the corporate offices of the richest man in Europe. Sally's
detective work reveals the connections between corrupt power and broken lives.
The action is fast, scenes are tight and dramatic, the language is vivid, and
the wealth of minor characters are sharply individualized. An immensely
entertaining thriller."--(starred) "Booklist." Reading level: 6.7.
10
Pullman is fast becoming a modern-day Dickens for young adults. The setting is the same, the strong eye for characters is there, as are the brooding atmosphere, the social conscience, and the ability to spin plot within plot.
Sally Lockhart is now a young woman, left alone with a toddler. Nothing prepares her for the shock of receiving a summons from a man she has never even heard of, suing for divorce and the custody of her beloved Harriet. Sally struggles against the net closing around her, seeking to find out who is persecuting her and why.

The writing style is lively and direct, and there's lots of action.
"This is a suspense novel with a conscience, and a most enjoyable one."-- School Library Journal.