Since the movie of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Trilogy Book 1) is coming out in early December, I decided to get the audio book for my oldest (8 1/2 year-old).
We've listened to the whole thing, listened to the second book, and are listening to The Golden Compass again.
The book has some religious references (a subject of which my daughter, being raised by an atheist, is fairly ignorant) like the creation myth, the story of Adam and Eve, original sin, and Lucifer. Some of the stories are explained in the book. Others (like the reference to Eve), I explained myself.
Thanks to Elisa's European history class last year with History at Our House, I was able to explain the setting of the story. I reminded her of the middle ages and how the church was able to control everyone's religion and how Joan of Arc had been executed as a heretic, a person stating something different from what the church said. This is very important to understand in The Golden Compass because the world in the story is run by the church and people who seek power in the church.
Interesting reading--even though physics gets mixed up with supporting 'conscious' particles of dust.