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1 Beaverton Children's Young Adult- General

Skellig

by

Skellig Cover

ISBN13: 9780440416029
ISBN10: 0440416027
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon. It was the day after we moved into Falconer Road. The winter was ending. Mum had said we'd be moving just in time for the spring. Nobody else was there. Just me. The others were inside the house with Dr. Death, worrying about the baby.

He was lying there in the darkness behind the tea chests, in the dust and dirt. It was as if he'd been there forever. He was filthy and pale and dried out and I thought he was dead. I couldn't have been more wrong. I'd soon begin to see the truth about him, that there'd never been another creature like him in the world.

We called it the garage because that's what the real estate agent, Mr. Stone, called it. It was more like a demolition site or a rubbish dump or like one of those ancient warehouses they keep pulling down at the wharf. Stone led us down the garden, tugged the door open, and shined his little flashlight into the gloom. We shoved our heads in at the doorway with him.

"You have to see it with your mind's eye," he said. "See it cleaned, with new doors and the roof repaired. See it as a wonderful two-car garage."

He looked at me with a stupid grin on his face.

"Or something for you, lad-a hideaway for you and your pals. What about that, eh?"

I looked away. I didn't want anything to do with him. All the way round the house it had been the same. Just see it in your mind's eye. Just imagine what could be done. All the way round I kept thinking of the old man, Ernie Myers, that had lived here on his own for years. He'd been dead nearly a week before they found him under the table in the kitchen. That's what I saw when Stone told us about seeing with the mind's eye. He even said it when we got to the dining room and there was an old cracked toilet sitting there in the comer behind a plywood screen. I just wanted him to shut up, but he whispered that toward the end Ernie couldn't manage the stairs. His bed was brought in here and a toilet was put in so everything was easy for him. Stone looked at me like he didn't think I should know about such things. I wanted to get out, to get back to our old house again, but Mum and Dad took it all in. They went on like it was going to be some big adventure. They bought the house. They started cleaning it and scrubbing it and painting it. Then the baby came too early. And here we were.

Chapter 2

I NEARLY GOT INTO THE GARAGE that Sunday morning. I took my own flashlight and shined it in. The outside doors to the back lane must have fallen off years ago and there were dozens of massive planks nailed across the entrance. The timbers holding the roof were rotten and the roof was sagging in. The bits of the floor you could see between the rubbish were full of cracks and holes. The people that took the rubbish out of the house were supposed to take it out of the garage as well, but they took one look at the place and said they wouldn't go in it even for extra money. There were old chests of drawers and broken washbasins and bags of cement, ancient doors leaning against the walls, deck chairs with the cloth seats rotted away. Great rolls of rope and cable hung from nails. Heaps of water pipes and great boxes of rusty nails were scattered on the floor. Everything was covered in dust and spiders' webs. There was mortar that had fallen from the walls. 'There was a little window in one of the walls but it was filthy and there were rolls of cracked linoleum standing in front of it. The place stank of rot and dust. Even the bricks were crumbling like they couldn't bear the weight anymore. It was like the whole thing was sick of itself and would collapse in a heap and have to get bulldozed away.

I heard something scratching in one of the corners, and something scuttling about; then it all stopped and it was just dead quiet in there.

I stood daring myself to go in.

I was just going to slip inside when I heard Mum shouting at me

"Michael! What you doing?"

She was at the back door.

"Didn't we tell you to wait till we're sure it's

I stepped back and looked at her.

"Well, didn't we?" she shouted.

"Yes," I said.

"So keep out! All right?"

I shoved the door and it lurched half shut on its

single hinge.

"All right?" she yelled.

',All right,” said. "Yes. All right. All right."

"Do you not think we've got more to worry about than stupid you getting crushed in a stupid garage?

"Yes."

"You just keep out, then! Right?"

"Right. Right, right, right.

Then I went back into the wilderness we called garden and she went back to the stupid baby.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

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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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780440416029
Author:
Almond, David
Publisher:
Yearling Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Family - General
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - General
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
England
Subject:
Moving, Household
Subject:
Angels
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Family
Subject:
Social Situations - Moving
Subject:
Strangers.
Subject:
Social Issues - Moving
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Children s-General
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;angels;young adult;friendship;ya;family;intellect;magical realism;illness;death;mystery;children s;children;birds;carnegie medal;children s fiction;england;owls;magic;novel;printz honor;love;moving;select for future;william blake;strangers
Subject:
fantasy;fiction;angels;young adult;friendship;ya;family;intellect;magical realism;illness;death;mystery;children s;children;birds;carnegie medal;children s fiction;england;owls;magic;novel;printz honor;love;moving;select for future;william blake;strangers
Copyright:
Series Volume:
v. 23
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
7.60x5.18x.52 in. .29 lbs.
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Awards » Michael L. Printz Award Winners
Children's » General
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Young Adult » General

Skellig Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Yearling Books - English 9780440416029 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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
"Review" by , "A powerful, atmospheric story...the marvelous and everyday mix in haunting, memorable ways."
"Review" by , "A lovingly done, thought-provoking novel."
"Review" by , "Its strength as a novel is in its subtlety....Skellig is a fine book."
"Review" by , "Some of the writing takes one's breath away."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , David Almond’s 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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