In the realm of fantastic fiction directed at children/young adults, Harry Potter is the reigning champion by any yardstick. J.K. Rowling doesn't have a monopoly, however. I grew up reading C.S. Lewis and Lloyd Alexander before I moved on to J.R.R. Tolkien in my early teens. If it had been written back then, I'm sure I would have read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. I have actually picked these novels up at the bookstore several times but never got around to reading them. By all reports it's in a similar vein to Harry Potter but with a more adult sensibility to it. Riding the wave of cinematic success of HP, LOTR, and Narnia the first novel has been made into a feature film and there's a really cool looking trailer here. I'm looking forward to this now and I'm more inclined to read the first novel before I see this.