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Crescent Blues Book ViewsDel Rey (Paperback), ISBN 0345413350

Jordan College is Lyra's whole world. She lives among doting Scholars and seeks out adventure in the streets of Oxford, in the catacombs beneath those streets, even on the roof of the college itself -- and completely unsupervised at that. But change comes, as it always does, when you least expect it, turning Lyra's whole world upside down.

Book: Philip Pulman, The Golden Compass
Forbidden to enter the Retiring Room -- a sanctuary reserved solely for the male Scholars and their guests -- Lyra can't resist sneaking in to find out what the big deal is. Unfortunately she picks the worst of times as the room soon fills with Scholars and, much to her surprise, her own uncle, Lord Asriel.

There she learns, by way of Lord Asriel's presentation, of a new kind of particle that emanates from the arctic north. A microscopic element called Dust that bridges the expanse between worlds and for some unfathomable reason congregates around children. Some want to study Dust but the vast majority want it destroyed -- extremists with little conscience and a lot of power.

Gobblers roam the streets kidnapping children, and to Lyra this all seems to be a great new game, until her best friend Roger becomes one of the missing. Determined to find her friend and armed with a golden compass that reads the truth, she sets out on a real adventure that will not only change herself but her world and countless others.

Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass gives us an excellent example of a novel written for one audience that can be enjoyed by all. Lyra and her companions are extremely likable and fun to watch as they try to reach their goal. Solid characterization, interesting peoples, and harrowing adventures create an exciting environment that leaves the reader breathless and wanting more.

Ted ODell

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