The Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 2 by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, Volume 2 by Philip Pullman. September 20 2016. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 80 p. ISBN: 978553535143.  Int Lvl: 5-8; Rdg Lvl: 5.3; Lexile: 340.

The eagerly awaited second volume in the graphic novel adaptation of Philip Pullman’s international bestseller The Golden Compass.

This second volume of the graphic novel finds Lyra in the far North. With the help of Gyptian fighters, newfound witch allies, and the armored bear Iorek Byrnison, she means to rescue the children held captive by the notorious Gobblers.

The stunning full-color art offers both new and returning readers a chance to experience the story of Lyra, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary role to play in the fates of multiple worlds, in an entirely unique way.

Part of series: His Dark Materials

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Violence; Smoking; Negative attitudes toward differing mental abilities



Booklist (August 2016 (Vol. 112, No. 22))
Grades 6-9. In this follow-up to Melchior and Oubrerie’s graphic adaptation of Pullman’s acclaimed fantasy series, Lyra and the Gyptians continue on their journey northward to Bolvangar to rescue the kidnapped children held captive by Mrs. Coulter. Lyra learns she must seek help from a distempered, renegade armored bear, Iorek Byrnison. Lyra also proves her worth to the witch consul, who promise her their help. Soon enough, Lyra, Iorek, and the Gyptians discover that Mrs. Coulter’s scientists at Bolvangar are experimenting with separating children from their daemons, and the process has fatal consequences. This graphic-novel adaptation is crammed with exciting action. The highly detailed, colorful art fills the panels with fine-lined figures, saturated hues, and atmospheric shadows, and while the print and panels are both small, everything is clear and readable. Battle scenes with Iorek, a powerful polar bear, make this volume, which covers the middle third of Pullman’s original novel, a bit more gruesome on occasion than the first installment. Pullman fans and new readers alike will appreciate this well-executed adaptation.

Kirkus Reviews (July 15, 2016)
The second volume of the graphic adaptation of Pullman’s modern classic follows Lyra’s adventures into frozen lands. Hewing faithfully to its source material, this sophomore interpretation trails headstrong Lyra Belaqua and her shape-shifting daemon, Pantaimalon, as they venture into the frozen north to seek out a villainous group that has been abducting children and severing their connections to their daemons. Aided by a mysterious coven of flying witches, a curmudgeonly armored polar bear, and an airship captain, Lyra endures bloody battles and uncovers shocking secrets as she learns the truth behind the kidnappings and mutilations. Dreamy watercolors organized into neatly ordered panels lend themselves well to the fantastical setting, creating a sense of sweeping cinematic scope. Pullman’s original magnum opus is heady and dense, and it may prove challenging for some; this adaptation, with its visual accessibility, can help those struggling with the novel’s complexity achieve an understanding without watering down the intricacies. This being only the second volume of three—and concluding with a cliffhanger—readers can expect a yearlong holdup before reaching the novel’s conclusion. While this may be a bit much to ask, those who have the patience should be pleased with Melchior-Durand and Oubrerie’s interpretation. An engaging adaptation, but some may wish to wait until all three volumes are available. (Graphic fantasy. 11 & up)

About the Author

In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children’s literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006. He is most famous for his “His Dark Materials” trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature freethought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series’ villain. [He wants] to emphasize the simple physical truth of things, the absolute primacy of the material life, rather than the spiritual or the afterlife.” He argues for a “republic of heaven” here on Earth.

His website is

Teacher Resources

Golden Compass Lesson Plans & Activities

Around the Web

The Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, vol. 2 on Amazon

The Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, vol. 2 on JLG

The Golden Compass: The Graphic Novel, vol. 2 on Goodreads



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