Northern Lights

Author: Philip Pullman

Published: Scholastic Ltd, 1995

Year level: year 10

Northern Lights is a fantasy novel set in a world that is similar to ours, yet there is a darkness that threatens the world. The protagonist Lyra begins her journey for truth when her friend Roger disappears.

The novel is a fantasy adventure novel, which encourages readers to use their own imaginations and although many points in the narrative are heavily laden with fantasy, the same morals and moral questions lie beneath the words – the loyalty of friends, who to trust, when to speak out, and sacrifice. Adolescents face these moral questions in their everyday lives, this novel will encourage teens to do what is right.

The highly entertaining genre of adventure fantasy encourages reluctant readers as it is easy to read and gripping. Two sequels follow this book, so readers can extend their reading past this singular novel. I would use this novel as a teaching resource as it is a good example of the adventure fantasy genre and may be used as a gateway to more advanced reading in later life – reading such as The Lord of the Rings or Neil Gaiman books.

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