Tracy Chevalier's Bookshelf
By Philip Pullman
Some books I just devour. I think about them all the time, read them during every spare minute, and am bereft when I finish them. It's kind of like being in love. I read The Golden Compass fast and feverishly, as if I were sick. I loved it so much that I vowed not to read Pullman's next book for at least a month in order to ration the pleasure. I lasted two days then gulped down the second and third books in a frenzy.
The trilogy unabashedly grapples with moral questions in a way few contemporary novels dare to. It's about two children who learn to defend human beings' right to leave behind innocence and gain experience. Set in a stunningly imagined world made up of past, present and future elements, the trilogy demonstrates the limitations of the labels "fantasy," "science fiction," and "children's writing," and carves out its own place as a modern classic. Lord of the Rings, move over—your seat has been taken!