If you were enthralled by Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series, you will welcome his new book, The Book of Dust: Volume One La Belle Sauvage. It is a prequel to the first book in the previous series, The Golden Compass. When I read the first chapter of this new book I relished the feeling of reentering Pullman’s familiar fantasy world. Pullman is a master storyteller. In this story, he weaves another powerful and fantastic adventure saga. The star of this book is Malcolm, an 11-year-old boy whose parents run an Inn in Oxford. Malcolm helps out there and in the Priory across the river from the Inn. At the Priory, Malcolm meets the baby, Lyra, whose father, Lord Astrial, left her there to be protected by the nuns. After he meets the 6-month-old Lyra, he becomes “her servant for life.” Later Malcolm saves Lyra from a danger that threatens her life. To keep her safe he undertakes a heroic journey in his canoe. When a terrible flood changes the landscape, Malcolm battles against horrific odds to protect Lyra. Along the way, Pullman strews nuggets of wonder that enthrall the reader. When we reach the end of that journey and the book on page 450, there is a promise: “To be continued.” Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long to re-enter the world of Pullman’s Dark Materials, since two more books are planned. -Recommended by Marilyn Carpenter, Professor Emeritus, Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
PubDate: October 19, 2017
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