In the second of three Christmas specials, Daniel Hahn picks his books for those aged seven to 12, while our reviewers for adults choose their favourites
What if God were a teenage boy?
The 'British Chekhov' leads audiences on a not-so-merry dance
Charlotte Cripps considers the philosophical attractions of HowTheLightGetsIn, an ideas festival with a difference
The British show whose American version was described as 'legal kiddie porn', makes a muted return – and film star Dakota Blue Richards doesn't help
The wizard has cast a spell on British film. But he vanishes soon
A project that brings authors into inner-city schools, inspired by the novelist Dave Eggers, is empowering young people – and writers themselves – in ways they never expected.
It's a natural light show that has long dazzled travellers – and the heavens will be at their most colourful just now. But where are the best places to enjoy the Northern Lights? Harriet O'Brien reveals all
Philip Pullman, the children's author, has accused the Labour government of using the murders of two Soham schoolgirls in 2002 as a "scare story" to persuade the public that it was necessary to create a database of adults who work with minors.
As pupils do some last-minute swotting up ahead of their English GCSE exams, former teacher Susan Elkin examines the changing nature of the syllabus
Philip Pullman's new novel is the latest creation to court controversy over its depiction of Jesus. Paul Taylor looks at how the artists, from Martin Scorsese to Rufus Wainwright via Monty Python, deal with the subject
To get hold of Philip Pullman's book from its Edinburgh publisher, I had to sign a legal undertaking that made me liable to penalties "under the laws of Scotland" should I dare to breach its terms. Like all of us, Pullman needs and uses the force of traditions and institutions (what he names here as "custom and authority") to protect his dignity and his interests. You might hear from other sources that this re-telling and re-interpretation of the Gospel narratives for Canongate's "Myths" series sets the spontaneous, impulsive goodness of Jesus against the power-mad, repressive apparatus of the "church", which Pullman embodies in the figure of Jesus of Nazareth's sinister twin brother, "Christ". In fact, this story about the meaning of stories is open to quite the opposite interpretation – and Pullman knows it very well.
Santa may be the big draw in this vast wilderness, but there is culture, wildlife and a magnificent light show to enjoy too, says Harriet OiBrien
An epiphany at the Royal Shakespeare Company led the award-winning actress first to misbehaviour, and then stardom
A Roald Dahl tale in the hands of Wes Anderson proves to be a typically idiosyncratic experience
Anthony Browne calls for art to be given an even footing with reading