Skellig
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Skellig

David Almond

The beautiful and haunting novel that launched David Almond as one of the best children’s writers of today. Winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread children’s book of the Year Award.

When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.

Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature - part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital.

But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael’s world changes for ever …

Skellig won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and is now a major Sky1 feature film, starring Tim Roth and John Simm. David Almond is also winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen award.

This newly jacketed edition celebrates 15 years of this multi-award-winning novel and is available from 5th September 2013.

Review

‘Do you know what shoulder blades are for? They’re where your wings were, and where they’ll grow again.’ This quote from David Almond’s Skellig holds the mystery that threads this story together. A story that is mythic and otherworldly and yet vital, real and ordinary too. It is a story about a young boy named Michael and his gravely ill baby sister, who is fighting to survive an undisclosed illness that has kept her hospitalised for most of her short life.

Emotions in Michael’s family are pained and exposed, and life feels like it’s on tenterhooks for this family. But then Michael makes two significant friends; one, a strange being named Skellig who inhabits the derelict garage at the back of Michael’s house, and Mina, a young girl who has a way of looking at the detail of life and seeing the extraordinary. Some readers might be drawn to Michael and his human struggle, others to Skellig given his unearthliness but, for me, it was Mina and her precocious insight; such as her comment, ‘Evolution is never-ending … we have to be ready to move forward.’ Almond’s Skellig is strange, beautiful and lyrical storytelling for the empathetic reader aged 10+.


Natalie Platten is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Doncaster.

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