Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
When I was about 8 or 9, my brother and I found ourselves dragged along to a week-long conference for serious grownups. We basically spent the entire week stuck in a sweltering, sticky dorm room with nothing to do but color pictures of jesus (it was a suuuper Christian conference) and listen to audiobooks.
When I put it like that, it sounds horrendous, doesn’t it? But honestly, this week is one that I remember with fondness. The audio book we had chosen was The Golden compass, and I was entranced. I fell headfirst into the wonderful world where everyone had their very own forever best friend, where witches were wise women and gypsies saved the day, and one very loyal Polar bear took care of that one very headstrong little girl. It didn’t matter to me at all that I was being cooked alive in a strange room, and I especially didn’t mind that I was stuck in the same room as my EVIL little brother. We didn’t fight once, and that’s a huge compliment to the story.
I still re-read the Golden Compass every once in a while. And each time I read it, I find a little girl inside of me that can change the world, see the good in everything, and also see through lies. I have loved multiple copies of this book to pieces, and will continue to do so until I can’t see anymore. And then I will listen to it again.