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*Lyra's Oxford* by Philip Pullman- young readers book review
Also by or about Philip Pullman:

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2)

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3)

The Magical Worlds of Philip Pullman
Lyra's Oxford
by Philip Pullman
Grades 5+ 64 pages Knopf September 2007 Paperback    

Fans of Philip Pullman’s famous trilogy “His Dark Materials” will be thrilled to see a new short story by the famous author. Lyra's Oxford begins two years after the events of Pullman’s trilogy. According to Pullman’s introduction, this slim volume is much more than just a book:
“This book contains a story and several other things. The other things might be connected with the story, or they might not; they might be connected to stories that haven’t appeared yet. It’s not easy to tell.”
Lyra Silvertonge, Pullman’s famous heroine, and her pine-marten daemon, Pantalaimon, find themselves on the roof of Oxford’s Lodge Tower as the story begins. She is checking the stonework and the lead on the tower roof for the Porter when she sees something unusual - a flock of birds attacking a lone bird. However, the two soon discover that they are not seeing just a bird – they are seeing a witch’s daemon under attack. The daemon named Ragi has been sent by his witch, Yelena Pazhets, to find a cure for a strange sickness. The supposedly mad scholar and alchemist Sebastian Makepiece has the answer: a rare golden elixir created by an alchemist. Where is he? Lyra and Pan help Ragi find the mysterious alchemist, and in the process, get mixed up in a complex and twisted plot. What is the witch really after? Who is Sebastian Makepiece? Is Lyra’s life in danger?

Readers who have enjoyed Pullman’s famous epic will be in for a treat. The plot twists and turns in improbable ways. Lyra saves the day, even though she doesn’t really know what she is doing at the time. Pullman has once again presented a conflict between the forces of good and evil. In this story, the witches are on the side of evil, and Lyra’s trusting nature gets her into trouble this time! Since it is a short story, there is not a lot of character development and intricate plotting. However, yet another character in the saga of Lyra Silvertonge is introduced – Sebastian Makepiece – an alchemist who has unfortunately married a witch.

Perhaps the most intriguing and mysterious aspect of this slim volume is the collection of additional resources provided by Pullman. Readers of his acclaimed trilogy – The Golden Compass, The Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife - will be thrilled to experience yet another adventure with boisterous Lyra, and to explore all kinds of other materials about Lyra's Oxford. There is a pullout map of Oxford with marvelous drawings and sketches. Pullman also includes a page torn out of guidebook, some photographs of Oxford, a postcard and a brochure for a cruise on the SS Zenobia. What does all of this mean? What is Pullman trying to tell us? Maybe there is a clue in Pullman’s Introduction: “There are many things that we haven’t yet learned how to read.”

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Myra Junyk/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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