About this item
The questions, discussion topics, and author information that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading of The Golden Compass . We hope that this guide will help you to navigate - alongside the story's young protagonist, Lyra Belacqua - Philip Pullman's richly imagined universe, populated by armored bears, gyptians, witches, and human beings, whose dæmons are never far from their side. Dæmons are one of the most striking, charming, and powerful images in The Golden Compass . These spirit-creatures, which seem like physical representations of the human soul, can change form to reflect the myriad of emotional states their humans go through as children. But in adulthood, each dæmon settles into the animal form that best reflects the inner nature of its human counterpart. It is in this unusual and imaginative creation that Pullman turns his sharpest mirror back onto his readers, helping us to imagine our own souls as precious, living extensions of ourselves that we can love, challenge, or even betray. The Golden Compass is a complex story that turns on a simple word: 'Dust.' This Dust does not gather in the unswept corners of Jordan College, Lyra's Oxford home. Rather, this Dust seems to reveal - or perhaps contain - the thing that makes each human being a unique creature. The concept of Dust provokes fear in some; others realize that mastery over Dust could be the source of great power. Although she does not quite realize it, Lyra - along with her dæmon Pantalaimon - finds her life inextricably entangled with the exploration of Dust. And as her understanding of Dust and her mastery over a mysterious tool called the alethiometer increases, the dangerous journey that she seems destined to make takes some astounding twists and turns.
Living among scholars in the hallowed halls of Jordan College, Lyra hears rumors of a magical dust that supposedly possesses powers that can unite whole universes, and begins a difficult and dangerous journey to find it.
Number of Pages: 351
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Sub-Genre: Action + Adventure / General, Science Fiction + Fantasy + Magic, General
Series Title: His Dark Materials
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Author: Philip Pullman
Street Date: September 1, 2003
Item Number (DPCI): 248-49-0387
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