by David Almond
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
In his dilapidated garage, Michael hears movement, and digging through the dirt and junk, he finds a creature that seems to be part man and part bird or angel. He is filthy, smelly and apparently near to starvation. As disturbing as this discovery is, it is the least of Michael’s worries. The new house is a mess, his parents are distracted, and his brand-new baby sister is seriously ill. Still, he can’t get this mysterious creature out of his mind-even as he wonders if he has really seen him at all. Michael and his new friend Mina visit the creature whose name is Skellig. They bring him food and drink and move him to a safer location. As the children get to know and help Skellig, they have some magical moments together. Skellig begins to transform under their care and concern, looking younger and quite beautiful. Told in beautiful flowing prose, this unusual tale has a magic of its own. It was the Winner of the Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award. Also in 2007 it was selected by the judges of the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature as one of the ten most important children’s novels of the past 70 years. A truly unusual wonderful book that I highly recommend for 4th grade and up.
Reviewed by J. Cooper, Youth Services