Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials (David Fickling Books)

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In this new 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 oil magnate Larsen Manganese, corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and Lee's longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country: Pierre McConville, 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. This exquisite clothbound volume features the illustrations of John Lawrence, a removable board game—Peril of the Pole—on the inside back cover, and 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.

About Philip Pullman

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Philip Pullman has won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass (and the reader-voted "Carnegie of Carnegies" for the best children's book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Award for The Amber Spyglass; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass); Parents' Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.Philip Pullman is the author of many books for young readers, including two volumes related to the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lyra's Oxford and Once Upon a Time in the North. He lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit www.philip-pullman.com and www.hisdarkmaterials.com.
Published January 1, 2008 by David Fickling Books. 64 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Once Upon a Time in the North

Kirkus Reviews

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A bear—whom Lee thinks is named York Burningson—joins the deadly skirmish, shoving an enemy tanker-gun into the harbor while Lee engages in a gunfight in a warehouse.

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Once Upon a Time in the North...

The Bookbag

I am a fan of the other Pullman books I have read, and I'm sure that if there are many particular clues in the story and addenda in this little book, I will one rainy day enjoy putting them together to the full core work.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Once Upon a Time in the North...

Common Sense Media

So here he offers a little backstory: the first meeting of two of readers' favorite characters: aeronaut Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison.

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Once Upon a Time in the North...


The action brings Scoresby face to face with a man who wants to kill him, but the smart and tough Scoresby won't go down without a fight.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Once Upon a Time in the North...

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