His Dark Materials, By Philip Pullman
It’s probably against some rule to have both His Dark Materials and The Chronicles of Narnia on the same page of favorite books, but the list wouldn’t be complete without Pullman’s masterpiece. I really don’t know where to begin. This world Pullman created is fascinating. It’s one of those ideas that I can’t believe someone else had never thought up before he did–a world where everyone’s soul has an animal form. It’s enthralling, something all young readers will wish they had.
This plot is intricate and does deal with dark themes, but it’s nothing kids can’t handle. Like C. S. Lewis does in Narnia, Pullman has a lot to tell us about the way our own world works through these stories. It’s a shame that so many people have written off these books before giving them a chance. If they would only read one of these books, I think these people would find that they’ve misjudged what Pullman is attempting here.
Do yourself a favor. Read these books.