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Once Upon a Time in the North
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A wonderful new story, filled with beautiful illustrations, from the bestselling author who brought us LYRA?S OXFORD.

About the Author

Philip Pullman is one of the most highly acclaimed children's authors of the decade. He has been on the shortlist of just about every major children's book award in the last few years, and has won the Smarties Prize (Gold Award, 9-11 age category) for THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER and the prestigious Carnegie Medal for NORTHERN LIGHTS. He was the first children's author ever to win the overall Whitbread Prize for THE AMBER SPYGLASS.He lives in Oxford.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-In this prequel to the "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf), Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby meets armored bear Iorek Byrnison for the first time. In this short, fantastic adventure, young Scoresby finds himself on the Arctic island of Novy Odense, a community set in an alternate past world. The rich mining company Lars Manganese is trying to control the town, Ivan Dimitrovich Poliakov is a corrupt mayoral candidate, and Captain van Breda is prevented from unloading his cargo unjustly. Scoresby takes on the captain's cause, resulting in an Old West-style shootout. Many readers will likely enjoy this book because of its quick pace and action-filled plot, but some Pullman fans may be disappointed when comparing this short text to the trilogy. Characters are less developed, and events sometimes happen a bit too quickly. The ending is neat and tidy, though it does leave the door open for future adventures. The inclusion of documents and black-and-white engraved illustrations add a nice touch, and the board game Peril of the Pole is tucked into the back inside cover as a bonus.-Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy will get a kick from this wisp of a novel, which immediately introduces "a lean young man with a large hat, a laconic disposition, and a thin mustache": Pullman offers up the backstory about that legendary Texan, the aeronaut Lee Scoresby, his jackrabbit daemon, Hester, and their first encounter with that other series favorite, the armored bear Iorek Byrnison. But this story reads as a stand alone, too, accessible to those unfamiliar with The Golden Compass and the rest. Bringing in his signature talents for rich scenic description and dramatic action, the story begins as Lee arrives on the island of Novy Odense, looking for work, and instead finds adventure. Notably, Pullman tells the story from Lee's perspective, trading in trilogy heroine Lyra's point of view for that of an adult man. Lee and Iorek team up to help a sea captain save his ship's cargo-unfairly embargoed by a corrupt local politician (he harbors a deep prejudice against armored bears)-and square off against the politician's bodyguard, a hired killer. Readers will appreciate this story's larger-than-life tenor, so fitting for the heroic Lee Scoresby. Kids will enjoy the extras, such as the pull-out board game Peril of the Pole ("for four to six players and their daemons") and "newspaper" clippings. Illustrated throughout with small engravings; final art not seen by PW. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Exuberant, intelligent fun . . . Once again Pullman has created a work of art that is enchanting for a child but equally appealing to an adult" -- Amanda Craig * The Times *
"Tantalisingly short, irresistibly snappy and full of dangerous derring-do" * Independent *
"This is a real treat, and easily one of the publishing hightlights of the year that will be devoured by fans old and new" * The Bookseller *
"Small and elegant, the book is exquisitely illustrated with woodcuts by John Lawrence and rounded off with bits of memorabilia including a newspaper clipping giving a different spin on events plus a board game. Fast and powerful, this is an exciting read" -- Anne Faundez * Carousel *
"A short, simple, elegant story . . . cloth-bound, with enhancing woodcuts by master-engraver John Lawrence" -- Claudia Fitzherbert * Spectator *

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