A truly outstanding read


A very unusual children’s book. David Almond’s voice is very different from what we find otherwise in the children’s books market. It is full of magic, mystery, compassion, sensitivity and otherness.

 In this first person narrative, Almond conveys Michael’s fear, loneliness and insecurity  in a very simple but incredibly effective manner. Readers of all ages will be able to relate easily to Michael’s inner world.

His secondary characters (friend Mina, his parents, Michael’s mates, etc.) are drawn in the same simple but intelligent, emphatic fashion as protagonist Michael.

 Almond’s choice of vocabulary and sentence structure is simple, easy to read and understand.

With very simple words he manages to capture the complexity of human feelings, the grey zones of life and to bring the reader close to things that we are not able to see with our eyes but only with our hearts and imagination.

 References to William Blake, the story of Icarus, angels, dreams, blackbirds and owls make it a multi-layered, rich and powerful read, to be enjoyed both by children and adults.

 The mystery which Almond creates around the extraordinary being Skellig is not explained to the full but left intentionally open to the imagination of the reader. Skellig remains to the end something vague, ‘something like an angel, something like a bird’.

A powerful, magical and unforgettable creature which teaches us to see much further than our eyes will take us.

 Winner of the Carnegie Medal, this ‘eye and heart opener’ will become in time a classic of children’s literature.



' . . . gripping, beautiful and brilliantly written . . . Everyone is raving about this unforgettable book.'THE SUNDAY TIMES

'Truly original, mysterious and affecting . . . Almond treads with delicate certainty, and the result is something genuine and true'PHILIP PULLMAN in THE GUARDIAN

'Tremendously innovative, highly original and very moving. David Almond is a fascinating new voice'MELVIN BURGESS