Seven years after readers last saw Lyra Silvertongue, sitting on a bench in Oxford’s Botanic Garden, Philip Pullman’s most beloved heroine is set to return as an adult this autumn in the second volume of his trilogy The Book of Dust.
Pullman announced on Wednesday that The Secret Commonwealth would be published in October, just ahead of BBC One’s TV adaptation of his bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy, starring Dafne Keen as the child Lyra, Ruth Wilson as the sinister Mrs Coulter and James McAvoy as Lord Asriel.
More from this Guardian article. (Am I hyperventilating much:)
Beloved by young readers, speculative fiction often gets a very different reception from grown-ups, some of whom lament that such books lack the depth of literary fiction, especially if — horrors! — they are popular ones in a series. It took a tsunami of media attention to get such adults to capitulate to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and, once they did, they raved about the series as an exception, seemingly unaware of its distinguished lineage. Fortunately, others feel differently, aware that some of the most inventive, enthralling, provocative and (yes) literary writing for children comes in this form. Setting their stories in invented places, a magical version of the real world or far across the universe, these authors explore weighty themes in highly original ways. For established fans, new readers and open-minded skeptics, four new titles offer distinctive and rich reading experiences.
Read on here to see what I thought about Corey Ann Haydu’s Eventown, Anna Ursu’s The Lost Girl, Catherine Doyle’s The Storm Keeper’s Island, and Yoon Ha Lee’s Dragon Pearl.