July 15, 2010

Skellig - by David Almond

Who is that old dude hanging out in the back of Michael's crumbling garage, and why does he only eat bugs and Chinese take-out?  As Michael and his new friend, the next-door-neighbor girl Mina, will find out, there's something quite special about that old dude, and it's up to them to help him survive.  Set in England, this is Michael's story, from his sick baby sister to his impressive soccer games at school, his bicycling teacher and new preference for the numbers 27 and 53.

This story, will appeal to boys and girls, and to anyone who loves a slow-paced story that builds and builds to an exciting and emotional climax, with a hopeful, feel-good, but suspenseful ending.  Some have called this the first "gothic" novel for children, but it's not as death-focused or spooky as books like The Graveyard Book or Coraline.  There is a bit of magic, but it's not what you expect.  This is a near-perfect book, and I can't wait to introduce it to my students and Guys Read book club.

Note:  There are some very English words and phrases, which teachers and parents may want to help young readers interpret.

1 comment:

Momo said...

Hi Mr K I was excited to read your blog entry about Skellig such a haunting story. Even now, years after reading this book, I can still envisage the scene of that shed in the back garden and all those cobwebs.

I am not sure if it would be available in America but try to get your hands on another great book similar to Skellig called Caleb by Garry Crew if you want to continue this theme of metamorphasis. It has the added bonus of the most fabulous illustrations and of course it is Australian although alas it is probably out of print.

As always thanks for your wonderful blog and keep up the good reading with your little son - as Rosemary Wells says "Read to your Bunny and one day your Bunny will read to you!"