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The Firework-Maker's Daughter Award-winning

by Philip Pullman (author) (UK edition)

Suitable for 9 - 12 years

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Product Description

Lila dreams of being a firework-maker like her father. But it isn’t all about creating Crackle-Dragons and Golden Sneezes. Like every firework-maker before her, Lila must also make a nightmarish journey to battle Razvani, the evil Fire-Fiend! On her journey, she outwits pirates, outlandish beasts and a furious emperor. But will she survive the Fire-Fiend’s blazing wrath? Can two friends and the King’s white elephant save her? Inspired by Philip Pullman’s own love of fireworks and their names – ‘Incandescent Fountain,’ ‘Golden Vesuvius’ – this exotic story crackles with suspense and wonder.

“One of those rare books with a confident magic all their own… delivered with a lightness of touch that is sheer genius.” Independent

Product Details

Catalogue number

5442 in Rewards Catalogue 2017/18






Yearling (imprint of Random House Children's Books)

Date published

November 4th, 2004

Accelerated Reader

AR book level: 5.3; Middle years; 2.0 points

Other details
  • 120 pages


UK edition



Philip Pullman

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Philip Pullman is probably the world’s most acclaimed living children’s author, whose bold, brilliant books have set new parameters for what children’s writing can say and do.

He is best known for the trilogy of books known as His Dark Materials, which won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. In 2003, His Dark Materials came third in the BBC’s ‘Big Read’ competition to find the nation’s favourite book, and in 2005 he was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s biggest prize for children’s literature. In 2007, The Golden Compass became a major Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. He has published nearly 20 books in total, and when he’s not writing he likes to play the piano (badly), draw and make things out of wood.

Philip was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular.

From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke.

Philip still lives in Oxford, and he writes in a shed at the bottom of his garden. The shed contains two comfortable chairs (one for writing in, one for sitting at the computer in), several hundred books, a six-foot-long stuffed rat which took a part in his play Sherlock Holmes and the Limehouse Horror, a guitar, a saxophone, as well as the computer, decorated with dozens of brightly coloured artificial flowers attached to it by Blu-Tack.

Blu-Tack plays a big part in Philip Pullman’s writing process. With it he sticks to the wall pictures, notes, posters, reminders, postcards, book jackets, anything that will stay there.

Another product of technology that Philip can’t do without is Post-it Notes, the smallest yellow ones in particular. They are very useful for planning the shape of a story: he writes a brief sentence summarising a scene on one of them, and then puts them on a very big piece of paper which he can fill with up to sixty or more different scenes, moving them around to get the best order.

Philip Pullman believes firmly in the virtues of healthy exercise and a moderate diet — for other people. It makes them feel virtuous, and makes them feel good if not happy. He is fond of sport, and plays it by watching television. He is a big fan of Neighbours, but that is the only soap he watches, as Neighbours gives him quite enough to think about.

He is married to Jude. Their son Jamie is a viola player, and their younger son Tom studies linguistics at university.

As far as he can tell, Philip Pullman is moderately harmless and useful. He would like to carry on doing what he’s doing now, and there seems no reason why he shouldn’t, but if it suddenly became against the law to write stories, he would break the law without a second’s hesitation.

“Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn’t be human beings at all.”


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What kids think

  1. Evie 113313

    on 7 March 2017

    I read up to page 15 and it is soooooo interesting. I really want to carry on

    5out of 5
  2. Pearl 113298

    on 21 November 2014

    The Firework Maker Lalchand has a great experience of being a firework maker. Lila his daughter has always wanted to be a firework maker and her Father won’t let her. She needs the three gifts which are Talent, Courage and Luck. But she didn’t know what they were when she went to see Razvani. She also needed the magic water from the Moon Goddess but luckily Chulak bought to her. Meanwhile Lilas father Lalchand had been locked up in the Kings castle. But if they won the firework display with longest applause he he wouldn’t be killed. But will they beat all of the contestants? Will be continued!!!

    5out of 5
  3. Avatar lion 761782

    on 28 April 2014

    I really enjoyed this book as it was packed with different emotions and we are also reading this book in school and discussing it in parts in guided reading and to read it by myself seems better than hearing an audio version. It’s better to read the book for yourself as you realize new things rather than having it read to you. I highly recommend that you read this book.

    5out of 5
  4. Default avatar 807810

    on 12 April 2014

    It is an amazing book I highly recommend it . I read it at school and did loads of writing about it.

    5out of 5
  5. Hayley 113303

    on 30 May 2013

    it’s currently amazing as it begins but as it goes on it is now getting boring xx and it just is not grabbing me to read on eny more i am getting bored whith it …

    i already know that she becomes a fire work maker so …

    3out of 5
  6. Default avatar

    on 7 March 2013


  7. Default avatar

    on 18 February 2013

    It is one of my favourite books. I really enjoyed reading it.

    5out of 5
  8. Avatar owl 761790

    on 19 April 2012

    I read this in school and we did lots of work and writing about it the names of the other firework makers are funny senyor scortchiney!

  9. Default avatar

    on 7 March 2012

    I think it was alright.

  10. Avatar bat 761713

    on 5 March 2012

    I would love 2 try it

  11. Petula 113689

    on 4 March 2012

    i absolutley love this book! i was reading this at school and soon i loved it! phillip pullman, this book is one of the best books ever made!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Avatar owl 761790

    on 3 March 2012

    This book is worth reading, I thought I wouldn’t like it but I did so read it even if you don’t think you will like it, TRY IT!

    4out of 5
  13. Monkey 113537

    on 28 November 2011

    i think its worth reading lovely grammar in the story great book:)

    4out of 5
  14. Bellasara 113282

    on 3 April 2011

    Nice story and I think I will write a story like this

  15. Hayley 113303

    on 4 June 2009

    this book is really fun

    4out of 5
  16. Hayley 113303

    on 25 November 2008

    Briliant book, Philip Pulman is so talented, I sujest you read it!

    4out of 5