First Book: The Golden Compass
Sample Chapter: Excerpt from Golden Compass / Northern Lights
Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.
Easily the most controversial works on this list, especially considering they were targeted to Young Adult readers. Banned by the Catholic League and called “Atheism for kids,” His Dark Materials definitely raises strong response from some, but many others simply see it as exciting fantasy in which religion acts as a key driver for the motives and actions of some characters. Ready to buy? Judge for yourself here.