I was honestly torn between this and the Harry Potter series. But His Dark Materials wins by a very small margin. Just the depth in these books completely changed me as a reader and, I believe, as a writer. It’s just a really really brilliantly imagined, intellectually engaging, and entertaining series. Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass) wasn’t an extraordinary read for me. I kind of struggled to get through it at times but The Subtle Knife just completely drew me in. And I really don’t think that there’s a book that’s made me cry harder than The Amber Spyglass. I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding these books and The Golden Compass movie was truly terrible but I don’t care about all of that. These books are smart, well-written and, I think, absolutely something that kids and teenagers should read. I know I’ll be reading them with my kids one day.
As an aside, how gorgeous are these covers? I really want them. And there’s a Folio Society edition that I adore and really, really want to have.