Janet Hamilton, December 26, 2006 (view all comments by Janet Hamilton)
In Skellig, David Almond has created a creature both believable and unbelievable. Young Michael finds Skellig in a falling down garage, covered with dust, spider webs and dead flies. ?He was filthy and pale and dried out and I thought he was dead,? is how Michael describes his first impression. Giving Skellig friendship and sustenance, with the help of his new friend Mina, Michael brings him back to life and in the process, with the help of a heart surgeon, keeps his baby sister alive. Is Skellig real? Is he a beer drinking, Chinese-food loving angel? Do we all have wings folded under our shoulder blades? What must we do to discover their presence and purpose. Could we all fly out from the dark places where we are hidden in our dried out dust-bin lives if we learned to listen and look and feel and be present to experience the heart beat of others right there next to our own?
Gently full of magic and realism, and the beauty and harshness of nature, Almond?s young adult novel is masculine and feminine, thoughtful and intense, full of contradictions, and tenderly oozing with life and of death. He captures the challenge of the human heart to embrace its own helplessness and work a magic transformation. In writing about a young boy just discovering his inner power, Almond has created a story that will speak softly yet memorably to ten year olds as well as reverberate in the echo chambers of much older readers as well.
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Monty90650, December 16, 2006 (view all comments by Monty90650)
Skellig is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Everyone can relate to Michael's experience with loneliness and fear and the difficulties that his family faces. However, into his life comes the miracle of Skellig (a wonderfully beautiful creature that Michael befriends and helps). Michael's life and family are dramatically transformed in a marvelously unexpected manner. If only we all experienced such miracles.
Everyone to whom I have recommended the book has read and loved it! It should have won the Printz Prize that year. It was far better then the competition!
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Almond makes a triumphant debut in the field of children's literature with prose that is at once eerie, magical, and poignant." Publishers Weekly, Starred
by Kirkus Reviews,
"A powerful, atmospheric story...the marvelous and everyday mix in haunting, memorable ways."
by School Library Journal, Starred,
"A lovingly done, thought-provoking novel."
by The New York Times Book Review,
"Its strength as a novel is in its subtlety....Skellig is a fine book."
by Booklist, Starred,
"Some of the writing takes one's breath away."
"Skellig is a strange book, certainly a memorable one. It isn't the usual fantasy, rather there is something about it that makes the reader feel if he or she just looked a bit harder and listened more carefully, many wondrous creatures would be there to find."
David Almonds Printz Honor-winning novel celebrates its 10th anniversary!
Ten-year-old Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is ill, his parents are frantic, and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage. . . . What is this thing beneath the spiders' webs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never before seen? The only person Michael can confide in is his new friend, Mina. Together, they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael's world changes forever. . . .
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