The Golden Compass
Written by Phillip Pullman
Reviewed by Alexis Cherry, age 15
The Golden Compass is a fantasy adventure story involving a little girl named Lyra Belacqua. Lyra is an orphan who has been placed in the care of the headmaster of a college in Oxford, England.
Lyra loves adventure and has always dreamed of traveling to the North where there are armored bears, blizzards, and lots of danger. Trouble strikes when a mysterious woman, Mrs. Coulter, comes into Lyra’s life and takes her to London to teach her how to be a lady. Lyra soon realizes that Mrs. Coulter may not be who she says she is, and might be linked with a scheme that is responsible for the disappearance of many young children. But Lyra is trapped and must rely on her friends to save her.
It’s up to you, the reader, to find out how this page-turner ends!
The Golden Compass isn’t your typical teen drama, instead it deals with more mature issues through fantasy. The alethiometer, for example, is a magical tool that Lyra uses to measure truth. This story does not relate to everyday life like some other stories, but exists in an alternate universe where everyone has a dæmon. Every human in this world has a dæmon that is their constant companion. Dæmons appear in the form of animals and represent their human’s soul.
I recommend this book to upper level high school students, especially if you like adventure, danger, suspense, and a little bit of mystery. The Golden Compass is a challenging read that requires close attention to detail. Because of its advanced vocabulary and complex storyline, younger readers might have a hard time understanding the text. But this book is also a great story. The Golden Compass is a challenging read because of its detail. A lot of information is packed together which made it somewhat difficult to follow, this is why I would recommend it to an older audience.