His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass Illustrated Edition

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass Illustrated Edition
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
June 22, 2021
Buy This Book
An over-sized, lavishly illustrated, full-color edition of Philip Pullman's beloved classic.

Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass has been changing the world for twenty-five years.

We are delighted to offer this new edition of the classic, with more than 100 full-color illustrations from acclaimed illustrator Chris Wormell.

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, The Golden Compass is the story of Lyra and her dæmon familiar and their dangerous journey to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule, and where her fearsome uncle is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world...

Fans and newcomers alike will be drawn into the story as never before by Wormell's thrilling illustrations.

Editor review

1 review
imaginative and lush illustrated MG fantasy
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
THE GOLDEN COMPASS ILLUSTRATED EDITION is a gorgeous new edition of this classic read that brings together the fantastic writing of the original novel with key illustrations of unforgettable moments throughout. This middle grade fantasy novel takes place in a world similar to ours but with a dash of magic. Every person has a daemon, a manifestation of their self/soul, whose shape is fully formed when they reach adolescence. As a child, Lyra's daemon Pantalaimon can take many forms, and together with her friend Roger and his daemon, they tend to get into trouble. The beginning of the book has Lyra spying on her Uncle as he visits with the people at the college - and saving his life before hearing him speak about something called "Dust."

Children are disappearing, being taken by Gobblers, for unknown purposes - and one of the children stolen is Lyra's friend Roger. Lyra wants to find him, but her world is limited. When Mrs. Coulter arrives, seeming worldly and sophisticated, she offers to bring Lyra with her on fantastic journeys. Lyra is interested to go while remaining wary. When the headmaster gives her an alethiometer, which looks like a golden compass, Lyra knows it is the key to something more important.

As she leaves Oxford and travels afar, she is to learn more about her world, humanity, and the thirst for something better.

What I loved: THE GOLDEN COMPASS is such a fantastic story with magic, mystery, suspense, friendship, and unforgettable characters. One of my favorite characters is Iorek Byrnison, an armored bear, who is pictured on the cover, and in this rereading, he manages to remain magical, mysterious, and noble. Lyra is a compelling main character through whose eyes we explore this world, the people, and come to love the unique individuals we meet along the way. She is fierce, clever, and so brave, a character that will resonate with young readers.

The themes of the book are certainly thought-provoking and work well for middle grade and YA audiences. These include childhood and growing up, human nature, science, friendship, honesty, and politics, hefty and important topics that are worth some discussion. The book can be a bit scary in places (particularly with the Gobblers), but it's perfect for middle grade readers who appreciate some thrilling suspense/danger.

The illustrations in this version are quite magical, and there are some with truly stunning use of color. The illustrations do not appear on every page, as the novel is included in full, but they appear at key moments and with important characters shown throughout. They certainly spark the imagination and add something extra to the book. This would be great for younger middle graders who can enjoy the story in pieces as part of bedtime or at their own pace and would enjoy seeing images as well.

Final verdict: With lush illustrations and imaginative plot, THE GOLDEN COMPASS ILLUSTRATED EDITION is a gorgeous middle grade fantasy read that brings the story to a new generation of readers in a stunning new way. Highly recommend this version for middle grade readers.
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