Book Review: The Golden Compass

by Melissa on January 8, 2010 · 0 comments

in 9-12, ATOS 7.0-7.9, Adventure, Fantasy, Lexile 900-999, Made into a movie, Part of a series or set

Title: The Golden Compass
Series: His Darkest Materials, Book 1
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Author: Philip Pullman
Lexile: [?] 930L
ATOS Level: [?] 7.1
Parent Rating:
VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
STOP For Ages: 9-12


Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subjects of gruesome experiments in the Far North.


This is a complicated book—many layers of social and religious undertones.  I strongly suggest parents read this book before their child or read it to them so they can discuss the many issues and ideas that come up, especially if your 9-10 year-old wants to read it.


Level 1 [?]

Sexual Content

Effects of castration, a passionate kiss between adults looks cruel to a child, talk of ‘lovers’.


Both kids and adults drink alcohol and use tobacco.


Children are kidnapped, dead bodies, scary ghosts, child abuse/child hate, adults and children are killed. This is a pretty scary, dark book. DO NOT READ BEFORE BEDTIME.


General disdain for women scholars, Lyra (main character) born out of an affair and her father kills her bio-dad.


All humans have an animal familiar called a ‘daemon’ who is their soul. Witches, diabolic possession, original sin, modification of biblical quotes.

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