Catch Up with His Dark Materials

Have you been watching His Dark Materials on HBO? We’re obsessed with the series which brings to life some of our favourite books. If you haven’t started yet, we recommend it – and we definitely recommend diving into Philip Pullman’s fantasy world in general. Here’s where you should start:

The Golden Compass
By Philip Pullman
448 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418320 | Knopf BFYR
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal – including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want. But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other. . .

The Subtle Knife
By Philip Pullman
384 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418337 | Knopf BFYR
Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will – a boy on the run, a murderer – a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels. Each is searching – Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father – but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, their destinies are bound together. . .until they are split apart.

The Amber Spyglass
By Philip Pullman
560 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780440418566 | Knopf BFYR
Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel’s audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play – and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed. Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape. As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living – and the dead – comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.

Lyra’s Oxford
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by John Lawrence
80 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780399555459 | Knopf BFYR
This exciting companion to His Dark Materials tells a not-to-be-missed story about Lyra and her world. When a witch’s daemon crashes onto the roof of Jordan College, Lyra and her daemon, Pan, are eager to help. But as this unlikely trio scours the winding streets of Oxford in search of a famed alchemist, their journey takes a deadly turn. . .This volume also includes a fold-out map of Oxford and fascinating extra glimpses of our favorite characters.

Once Upon a Time in the North
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by John Lawrence
144 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399555442 | Knopf BFYR
In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby – Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua – is just 24 years old, and he’s recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. He finds himself floating North to the windswept Arctic island of Novy Odense, where he and his hare daemon Hester are quickly tangled in a deadly plot involving an oil magnate, a corrupt mayoral candidate, and Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country, a hired killer with at least twenty murders to his name. It’s only after Lee forms an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears that he can fight to break up the conspiracy in a gun-twirling classic western shoot out – and battle of wits. A glimpse for Pullman fans into the first friendship of two of the most beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison.

Serpentine
By Philip Pullman
Illustrated by Tom Duxbury
80 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593377680 | Knopf BFYR
This companion to His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust offers a tantalizing new glimpse of Lyra and her dæmon, Pantalaimon. The world-changing events of The Amber Spyglass are behind them, and Lyra and Pan find themselves utterly changed as well. In Serpentine, they journey to the far North once more, hoping to ask the Consul of Witches a most urgent question. This brand-new story, a beguiling must-read for Pullman fans old and new, is a perfect companion to His Dark Materials and a fascinating bridge to The Book of Dust.

La Belle Sauvage
By Philip Pullman
480 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553510744 | Knopf BFYR
Malcolm Polstead and his daemon, Asta, are used to overhearing news and the occasional scandal at the inn run by his family. But during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm finds a mysterious object – and finds himself in grave danger. Inside the object is a cryptic message about something called Dust; and it’s not long before Malcolm is approached by the spy for whom this message was actually intended. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he begins to notice suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl – just a baby – named Lyra. Lyra is at the center of a storm, and Malcolm will brave any peril, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through it.

The Secret Commonwealth
By Philip Pullman
656 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553510706 | Knopf BFYR
The windows between the many worlds have been sealed and the momentous adventures of Lyra Silvertongue’s youth are long behind her – or so she thought. Lyra is now a twenty-year-old undergraduate at St. Sophia’s College and intrigue is swirling around her once more. Her daemon Pantalaimon is witness to a brutal murder, and the dying man entrusts them with secrets that carry echoes from their past. The more Lyra is drawn into these mysteries, the less she is sure of. Even the events of her own past come into question when she learns of Malcolm Polstead’s role in bringing her to Jordan College. Now Lyra and Malcolm will travel far beyond the confines of Oxford, across Europe and into the Levant, searching for a city haunted by daemons, and a desert said to hold the truth of Dust. The dangers they face will challenge everything they thought they knew about the world, and about themselves.

And once you’re done reading, you can catch up with the show!

Cozy Up with These Holiday Romances

‘Tis the season to cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and a cute holiday read. You’ll have to make the drink yourself (sorry), but luckily, we have the book recommendations! Check them out below and make sure to pick them up from your favourite local bookstore!

All I Want for Christmas
By Wendy Loggia
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593179833 | Underlined
Bailey Briggs is counting down the days to Christmas: she lives for holiday music, baking cookies, going on snowy sleigh rides,and wearing her light-up reindeer ears to work at Winslow’s bookstore. But all she really wants this year is the one thing she doesn’t have: someone special to kiss under the mistletoe. And she’s 100 percent certain that that someone isn’t Jacob Marley — athlete, player, and of questionable taste in girlfriends — and that Charlie, the mysterious stranger with the British accent, is the romantic lead of her dreams. Is she right? This will be a December to remember, filled with real-life Christmas magic . . . and, if she stays on Santa’s nice list, a wish that just might come true.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593309605 | Knopf BFYR
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories
Edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman
Foreword by Mayim Bialik
320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525646167 | Knopf BFYR
A Jewish boy falls in love with a fellow counselor at summer camp. A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend’s family over Shabbat dinner. Two best friends put their friendship to the test over the course of a Friday night. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. Hilarious pranks and disaster ensue at a crush’s Hanukkah party. From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.

Let It Snow
By John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781101998618 | Speak
An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train, setting off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

New Year’s Kiss
By Lee Matthews
256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593179857 | Underlined
Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?

What Light
By Jay Asher
272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448493640 | Razorbill
Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon — it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

Meet Dash & Lily!

It’s been a decade since Rachel Cohen and David Levithan first introduced us to one of our fave couples, Dash and Lily, and now they’re getting an adaptation! Make sure you tune into Dash & Lily on Netflix starting November 10 and catch up on the books if you haven’t already!

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780375859557 | Knopf BFYR
16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780399553837 | Knopf BFYR
Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers watched the couple fall in love in Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. Lily’s spark has dimmed so much that Langston, her brother, has put aside his grudge against Dash to team up and remind Lily what there is to love about life. With only twelve days left until Christmas – Lily’s favorite time of the year – Dash, Langston, and their friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday spirit of New York City in December, a time and place unlike anywhere else in the world. Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is bound to be a Christmas favorite for seasons to come.

Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily
By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593301531 | Knopf BFYR
Dash and Lily were feeling closer than ever…it’s just too bad they’re now an ocean apart. After Dash gets accepted to Oxford University and Lily stays in New York to take care of her dog-walking business, the devoted couple are struggling to make a long distance relationship work. And when Dash breaks the news that he won’t be coming home for Christmas, Lily makes a decision: If Dash can’t come to her, she’ll join him in London. It’s a perfect romantic gesture…that spins out of Lily’s control. Soon Dash and Lily are feeling more of a gap between them, even though they’re in the same city. Will London bring them together again – or will it be their undoing?

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Read the Book, Watch the Adaptation

We live in a golden age where all sorts of books are being adapted into movies or TV shows and we’re living for it. We’ve rounded up some of the more recent adaptations (including one that’s coming soon!) – how many have you watched?

The movie:

The book:

Little Women
By Louisa May Alcott
816 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9780147514011 | Puffin
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?

Jo & Laurie
By Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812018 | Putnam BFYR
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration–museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself! But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

The movie:

The book:

Looking for Alaska
By John Green
272 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593109069 | Dutton BFYR
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked #1 bestselling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.

The movie:

The book:

All the Bright Places
By Jennifer Niven
416 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593118924 | Knopf BFYR
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself–a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

The show:

The book:

The Golden Compass
By Philip Pullman
432 Pages | 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593178553 | Knopf BFYR
A war is brewing in Lyra’s world–a battle between those who would keep people in ignorance and those who are willing to fight for true freedom. Lyra is thrust into the middle of the conflict when her uncle Asriel comes to Oxford, fomenting rebellion, and when her best friend, Roger, suddenly disappears. Lyra learns that Roger was kidnapped by a shadowy organization that steals children and, it is rumored, experiments on them. To find him, she will travel to the cold, far North, where armored bears and witch clans rule . . . and where her uncle Asriel is attempting to build a bridge to a parallel world.

The movie:

The book:

Chemical Hearts
By Krystal Sutherland
368 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593109670 | Putnam BFYR
Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the love that he’s been expecting just hasn’t been in the cards for him–at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. When Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, and Henry wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. But as Henry learns, what you want may not have anything to do with what you get.

The movie:

The book:

The Kissing Booth
By Beth Reekles
448 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385378680 | Ember
Meet Rochelle “Elle” Evans: pretty, popular—and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile—and a total player. When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at her school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far from a fairy tale. Is Elle headed for heartbreak or will she get her happily ever after?

The Kissing Booth #2: Going the Distance
By Beth Reekles
336 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593172575 | Ember
Elle Evans seems to have finally tamed hotter-than-hot bad boy Noah Flynn, but now they’re facing a new challenge. Noah’s 3,000 miles away at Harvard, which means they’re officially a long-distance couple – and it’s tough. When Elle sees a post which suggests Noah’s getting friendly with someone else, she’s devastated. On top of that, it’s hard to ignore new boy Levi. He’s gentle, sweet, cute – and definitely interested in Elle. With her heart on the line, what’s a girl to do?

The movie:

The book:

Stargirl
By Jerry Spinelli
208 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593179048 | Ember
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

The show:

The book:

The Last Kids on Earth
By Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
240 Pages | 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780670016617 | Viking BFYR
Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June.

The movie:

The book:

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
By Stephan Pastis
320 Pages | 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780763669270 | Candlewick
Take Timmy Failure—the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total, and what you have is Total Failure, Inc. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a hilarious caper accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets readers snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further—or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment—making this a comics-inspired story that truly stands apart from the pack.

BONUS: A classic movie just got a brand new translation!

The movie:

The book:

Kiki’s Delivery Service
By Eiko Kadono
Translated by Emily Balistrieri
208 Pages | 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984896667 | Delacorte BFYR
Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year. Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.