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Pullman, Philip
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
IL 5-8, RL 6.8
ISBN 0679879269

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Lyra and Will are two teenagers who hold the fate of the world, in fact all worlds, in their hands as they continue their extraordinary adventure which began in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife..

Armed with his magical knife, Will battles the formidable forces in the world of the living and the world of the dead. Lyra is a mighty warrior as well. Her most powerful tools are her gift for reading the prophetic aletheimeter and an uncanny ability to lie. By the end of their heroic quest, both Will and Lyra have lost their magical weapons, but they have gained so much more. Their mystical, dangerous journey leads them to a level of insight and understanding far beyond their years.
(Kathy Bellin, Colorado Blue Spruce YA Book Award, 2003)

Booktalk #2

Ama, the herdsman's daughter, couldn't stop thinking about the sleeping girl and her mother, Mrs. Coulter. Ama knew there were sorcerers who could easily cast sleeping spells and it was only natural that her mother would care for her as Mrs. Coulter did. She visited them as often as she could in the valley, listening to the wonderful tales that the woman told and hoping for another glimpse of the sleeping girl.

Finally, she walked the three-hours to the monastery at Cho-Lung-Seto gain an audience with the great healer Pagdzin tulku. She tried to be clever, changing the sex of the girl and saying that the family was too poor to enlist his aid. But, even though the healer gave her some powder for the sleeper to inhale, he also told her to tell the whole truth the next time she came and not only part of it.

The next evening she hurried to the valley to tell the woman what she had done to help wake the sleeper and become friends with the woman and her daughter. But, the woman and her monkey were nowhere to be seen. Ama crept further into the cave where she could see the enchanted girl. Maybe she could wake her before the woman returned . . .

She heard sounds on the path outside and darted behind a rock at the side of the cave in embarrassment for being where she should not have gone without permission. The woman came in, saw the food Ama had left, and then turned to mixing herbs and powders into heating water. She turned to the sleeper who seemed to be struggling into wakefulness, then force fed the girl the concoction she had made up with the help of the monkey. The girl was forced to swallow the drink and lapsed back into sleep.

It was dark and the moon had risen before AMA and her own daemon were able to sneak out past the sleeping woman and her monkey.

"She lied!" exclaimed Ama. "She lied to us!" But, AMA had the little package with from the healer. And she knew how to use it.
Sam Marsh for The Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award

SUBJECTS:     Good and evil -- Fiction.


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