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Almond, David, 1951-

Michael was looking forward to moving house. But now his baby sister's ill, his parents are frantic and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. But what he finds in the crumbling garage will change his life forever

Paperback, Book. English. Children's stories.
Published London: Hodder Children's, 1998
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Statement of responsibility: David Almond
ISBN: 0340716002, 9780340716007
Intended audience: Juvenile.
Physical Description: 170p. ; 20 cm.
Series: Signature

Accelerated Reading

Book Level: 3.5
Interest Level: MY
Points: 4
Quiz Number: 203053

Author note

David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. David is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today, and his books are bestsellers all over the world. He lives with his family in Northumberland.


Lyrical, innovative and unforgettably moving.
Sunday Express (Cressida Cowell)||Lyrical, innovative and moving...unforgettably moving
Sunday Express||The book I wish I'd written is Skellig by David Almond. Almond's book has a great sense of the mysterious; we are left with a sense of wonder. I wish that I had written it!
Books For Keeps||This modern classic has been reissued in a beautiful 15th anniversary edition
The Sunday Telegraph||An exquisitely crafted book with a mystical core
The Daily Telegraph||The sort of children's book that makes adults find excuses to read more of them
Times Educational Supplement||Hard to put down
The Daily Telegraph||Refusing to read this book on the grounds that you are not a child makes as much sense as refusing to read crime fiction because you are not a criminal. A deep and lovely book.
The Times||An exquisite book
The Sunday Telegraph||Brings Magical Realism to working-class Northeast England
i (The Independent)||A story full of heart and magic and big confusing emotions, elegantly told by a master craftsman. A perfect piece of art
Big Issue (london)||Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange, hugely readable and life-affirming tale exercises every muscle of the imagination
The Guardian||Humorous, heart-stopping and emotional roller-coaster of a read with a cliff-hanger of a conclusion. Inspired and inspiring.
Newcastle Journal||A visionary story...a lyrical, magical kind of book which can be read on many different levels
The Daily Mail||Voted Carnegie Medal's Number one Top Book of the past 70 years
The Times||I can't eat a chinese takeaway without thinking about this strange and beautiful book about an angel who seems to have lost his way.
The Big Issue||A bookshelf essential.
The Guardian||The Observer||Powerful and moving||A beautiful story which will enchant young and old alike
Western Morning News||

A modern classic

Listed as on the of the 100 Best Children's Books Ever (Novels)

The Daily Telegraph||One of those books that you can't put down
Evening Echo (Cork)||. . . gripping, beautiful and brilliantly written . . . Everyone is raving about this unforgettable book.
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH||'A quite extraordinary book. Tender, Lyrical, yet it fairly crackles with suspense. He makes the incredible utterly credible. This is a story which burns bright from first to last, and for long after the last is over. Unforgettable. David Almond is a very special writer.' MICHAEL MORPURGO.||'The night Skellig arrived I read it all through the night. It is gripping, fascinating, a beautiful book.' JOAN AIKEN||Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange, hugely readable and life-affirming tale exercises every muscle of the imagination.
THE GUARDIAN||A stunning debut . . . An extraordinary book.
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH||'Tremendously innovative, highly original and very moving. David Almond is a fascinating new voice.' MELVIN BURGESS||'An intensely written and fast moving fable . . . A considerable achievement.' BOOKS FOR KEEPS||'Utterly gripping . . . David Almond's quiet prose achieves the extraordinary feat of creating a character so fantastical that one never doubts his reality. When Michael and his family move house, his baby sister is desperately ill. The loneliness and fear he feels become focused on the creature he discovers in the rotting garage. Skellig - part owl, part angel - is saved by the love and concern that Michael and his new friend, Mina, have for him. Full of images of flight, laced with acutely observed detail, this is a tender and powerful tale which has a poetic and psychological accuracy. A marvellous and unnerving debut.' TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT||'Very assured. And it flows in an incantational way with some nice hard edges. And it doesn't plead. The narrator is spot on. You see the somewhat sullen exterior of a boy that age and the emotions within. This is awesomely minimalist stuff. A whold family is created, particularly the father/son relationship, with admirable economy. I was stirred by Mina too. Best of all, the burden of Skellig rests upon dialogue, very good dialogue.' RICHARD PECK||'It is a well-spun web. David Almond weaves a tale both terse and textured about the fearful, wonderful fragility of life.' RICHARD PECK||'I savoured this heartfelt and compelling reading experience. Thank you, David Almond!' GRAHAM SALISBURY (US)||'Readers who follow Michael into the crumbling and filthy building on his parents' newly purchased property will meet an utterly believable creature. Be forewarned however, David Almond, not only has an uncanny ability to indue the reader to believe in the unbelievable, but also to see, hear, sense, and smell it. A unique and utterly fascinating read.' ZILPHA KEATLEY SNYDER (US)||'Skellig is a beautifully written, superbly crafted modern fable which I hope will go on to both critical and financial success . . . Skellig is one of those books, like The Hobbit or Watership Down, that cross the supposed boundary between children's and adult literature. Discovered filthy, exhausted and close to death in the dangerous ruins of a derelict garage at young Michael's new home, Skellig is cajoled and bullied by Michael and his enigmatic new friend Minat to fight his way back to health. It is a touching story that would lend itself well to the style of animation given to Raymond Briggs' Snowman.' THE BOOKSELLER||