His Dark Materials

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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
This trilogy of children's fantasy novels is inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost and stirred up controversy for its atheist leanings. But the series isn't all deep social commentary: With a teenage heroines, shape-shifting animal sidekicks (called dæmons) and warrior polar bears, His Dark Materials is really just a coming-of-age tale set in a series of parallel universes. A film based on the first book of the series, The Golden Compass, was released in 2007 starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.