A few of you have raved about The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1, by Philip Pullman. So we added it to the Book Club list and we’re ready to start the discussion. Feel free to share your opinion on the book, answer my questions, and even ask your own!
But first, a note: this book did include intense battle scenes and mature concepts so younger readers might want to wait a few years before tackling this one.
The Golden Compass Synopsis
Lyra Belacqua is a 12-year-old girl awaiting the arrival of her uncle and guardian, Lord Asriel, at Jordan College. She spies on him and learns of a magic material called “Dust”. She then meets Mrs Coulter, an adventurous woman, and agrees to go to live with her. Before her departure, the Master of the College secretly entrusts Lyra with an alethiometer: a “truth teller” which resembles a golden pocket-watch that can answer any question asked by a skilled user. Lyra’s journey takes her to the cold far North where she discovers the shocking truth.
I loved how this book let my imagination run wild! This strange world is somewhat familiar yet so different than the one we know. I found myself rooting so intensely for Lyra, that I couldn’t put the book down. I also found myself drawn to Lyra’s personality. She’s tough but she values friendship and loyalty. Talk about leaving readers on edge, as the ending is a cliff-hanger, driving us to read the next in the series, The Subtle Knife.
I want to hear what you thought about this book! Here are my questions for you:
1. Did you like Lyra? If so, did you like her instantly, or were you more fond of her as time passed?
2. Why do you think the author stressed that Lyra is not an imaginative child?
3. Is “Dust” good or bad?
4. Is Lord Asriel a hero or a villain?
5. What kind of animal would your dæmon be and why?
Looking forward to your feedback.