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The Book of Dust: the belle sauvage

November 19th, 2019 - Posted in Library News -

by Phillip Pullman, 449 pages, Grades 7 and up.

This is the prequel to the His Dark Materials trilogy which includes the books The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

The world of His Dark Materials feels a lot like the earth we know but humans in this fanstasy world are made up of two parts: the human being and the daemon. Daemon’s take many animal forms, but they are really part of the human with whom they are paired. It is a little bit like having your soul or your heart living outside of your body in this other little being. 

Malcolm is young enough that his daemon has not settled on a form yet. Daemon’s change shape from owl, to fox, to squirrel all day every day until one day when you reach a certain age they settle into one form they will be the rest of your life. 

Malcolm is 11, he is a good kid, and a hard worker. He is always helping his parents and other people in the village, but his favorite thing to do is take to the water in his little boat, The Belle Sauvage. 

Recently, dangerous, creepy people have been visiting his parents’ pub asking questions about a baby. The only baby Malcolm knows is the adorable Lyra being taken care of by nuns at the priory, and Malcolm begins to worry for her safety. Then, the flood strikes. It is the biggest flood in centuries, it seems like the whole of England is under water. Suddenly Malcolm finds himself in charge of saving little Lyra from the flood, evil people, and the government; Malcolm’s calm existence is transformed into a grand adventure full of life threatening danger.  

If you like fantastic adventures you might also enjoy: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud, the Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling, or, of course, His Dark Materials Trilogy, by Phillip Pullman.

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