Author: Phillip Pullman
What To Read Next: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, Juniper by Monica Furlong
The series that pissed off a great many religious groups is, in fact, for young adults. In the world of the Dark Materials trilogy, religion controls the people, and it's not a good thing. In addition to angering Christians, the trilogy describes the coming-of-age of two children, Lyra and Will, and their dæmons, animal companions who represent their inner-selves.
If you're under the impression that this a series of fairy tales and talking animal, we kindly ask you to give it a chance. Pullman set out to rewrite Milton's Paradise Lost, the epic poem about Satan, the loss of innocence, and sin. And his series is a success (though not in the same way that Milton's poem is a success). Not bad for something a 13-year-old could quote.