We used to read to our boys when they were young and as they became older we chose longer books and read these to both boys at once. The first three books of Harry Potter were favourites and then we started on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, a trilogy with the first book, The Golden Compass. This series was the last to be read aloud, as the boys soon preferred reading on their own.
To this day, those books stand in my memory and Harry Potter pales in comparison. By the time we got to the third book, The Amber Spyglass, I could not put it down. I never even finished the Harry Potter series once we stopped reading to the boys. Pullman creates a universe that is believable and fantastic at the same time. Adult readers can find complex themes such as organised religion and quantum physics, all within a great story.
Perhaps it’s because these books may make you think (and question the status quo) that the Halton Catholic District School Board has pulled the trilogy from its schools. These are the only children’s books that I would wholeheartedly endorse and recommend to pretty well everyone. They are a fantastic read, and our youngest son even sat down and read them again on his own. True praise indeed. I think I’ll go and re-read the last book, before I see the movie.
Photo by Angelo Su.