Scottish Youth Theatre is doing an adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, so I'd like to read them again before I go to see it. It's just the pure fantasy, imagination and escapism that appeals. It's totally different from the day-to-day running of the school. You can switch off.
I've got a Primary 7 who used some of Philip Pullman's ideas and looked at his use of description. When you're doing writing at school, it's quite good to use other authors' work as a model. The description of characters and setting in His Dark Materials is really imaginative and gets the kids fired up.
Pullman's trilogy is much more grown up than the Harry Potter books, in terms of themes and use of language, and there's not the same feeling that you're out of the gang if you haven't read them. They also appeal because they haven't been made into a film yet it's much better to read the book before you see the film.