The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Lyra has spent her whole life at Jordan College in Oxford, taken there by her uncle after her parents’ death. She’s grown into quite a wild child, exploring off-limit places, sneaking around and spying, and waging wars with the other children. But one adventure propels her into a whole new world when she accidentally hears about her uncle’s discoveries about Dust, the particles that are part magical and part religious, that seem to come from another world and cling to adults. Then the glamorous Mrs. Coulter shows up and whisks Lyra away on an adventure. But old habits die hard, and before long Lyra’s sleuthing ways uncover Mrs. Coulter’s monstrous involvement in the abduction of children, including her best friend Roger. Suddenly Lyra’s adventures become all too real in a fight for not only her life, but her very soul.
A classic read that is still captivating. The first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. Recommended for junior high school and up.
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