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Kit's Wilderness by David Almond

Kit's Wilderness (1999)

by David Almond

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7553512,297 (3.57)35
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    Jeremy Visick by David Wiseman (karneol)
    karneol: Another British book about the spell of mining history.

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I'm planning a full review on my blog. So for now I'll say, meh. ( )
  akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
This novel was about 13 year old Christopher Watson (Kit) who has just moved with his parents to Stoneygate after his grandmothers death. They move there to be with Kit's grandfather and throughout this novel Kit grows closer to him. Kit learns about his ancestors and how they were some of the first ones to live in this old mining town. Kit becomes part of a group which goes down to the pit (although it is closed now) and plays a game called "Death", until a teacher finds out what they are doing. The group is forced to stop, but Kit continues to hang out with Allie and they become close friends.
I believe this novel would really appeal to young adult readers. I believe that it would keep their attention. This book shows moral situations aimed at the young adult readers. His growing relationship with his grandfather shows strong family bonds, which is important to any young adult. This book also has a lot of other useful materials.
I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the suspense that this novel was full of. It kept you wondering the whole time. I also liked how Kit became close to his grandfather and at first would ask him question about his life and their ancestors. I have always been close to my grandfather and loved hearing him tell stories so I could relate to Kit in that way. It was interesting to read about how some of the character is this novel reacted to the death game and to each other. I also liked the ending of the book, which you will just have to read. ( )
  ErikaBrown | Jul 26, 2012 |
There are many layers of connection for students in this ghost story. It deals with real issues such as death, aging grandparents, alcoholism and peer pressure.
  Randalea | Aug 7, 2011 |
Plot Summary: Kit and his family moved to a small mining town in Stoneygate, England to take care of his elderly grandfather. Kit loves to hear the suspenseful stories of former souls who roamed the wilderness from his grandfather. Kit makes friends with John Askew, an outcast. A group of friends go into the mines and play a game called Death, to scare themselves. Most of the gang pretends to see apparitions, but Kit really sees them and Askew believes him. They share a bond that no others do.

Critique: This was just another YA book that dealt with family, death, alcoholism, the need to fit in, and the need to find oneself. I thought the blending of reality and fantasy was incredible, therefore putting me in Kit’s shoes.

Curriculum Uses : This novel could be used with many discussion topics, such as:
1.Describe Askew. What type of a person is he: Does his family play an important role?
2.John Askew is labeled a ‘bad child’. What do you think about the label and do you think you’ve ever been labeled. ( )
  renee.nevils | Apr 26, 2010 |
This is the story of Kit, who moves to an English mining town to help take care of his elderly grandfather. He and his friends play the game of Death, to scare themselves. His grandfather tells him the stories of the mines, of his family. He develops a relationship (not friends, but almost) with the school troublemaker. He writes a story about a pre-historic cave family that's woven in throughout the main story.

Look, Kit's Wilderness is a Printz winner and I haven't liked the other books by Almond I've read. The story was good. But... it was heavily layered and full of symbolism and parallels. I don't mind that--it usually makes a good story, but the craft of the story was just so obvious. I could see what Almond was doing as I was reading it. When the craft of a story is so blatant that I notice it as I'm reading? Then I can't enjoy the story. I don't want such things to be obvious until I put the book down and start thinking. In this, the parallels were SO OBVIOUS. The book should come with a frying pan, because it kept hitting you over the head.

see all my reviews: www.jenrothschild.com ( )
3 vote kidsilkhaze | Jan 1, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440416051, Mass Market Paperback)

Like David Almond's 1998 Whitbread-winning Skellig, this powerful, eerie, elegantly written novel celebrates the magic that is part of our existence--the magic that occurs when we dream at night, the magic that connects us to family long gone, the magic that connects humans to the land, and us all to each other. As Kit's grandfather puts it, "the tales and memories and dreams that keep the world alive."

It seems fated that 13-year-old Christopher Watson, nicknamed Kit, would move to Stoneygate, an old English coal-mining village where his ancestors lived, worked, and died. Evidence of the ancient coal pit is everywhere--depressions in the gardens, jagged cracks in the roadways, in his grandfather's old mining songs. A monument in the St. Thomas graveyard bears the name of child workers killed in the Stoneygate pit disaster of 1821, including Kit's own name--Christopher Watson, aged 13--the name of a distant uncle. At the top of this high, narrow pyramid-shaped monument is the name John Askew, the same name of Kit's classmate who takes the connection between this monument and life--and death--very seriously.

The drama unfolds as the haunted, hulking, dark-eyed John Askew draws Kit and other classmates into the game of Death, a spin-the-knife, pretend-to-die game that he hosts in a deep hole dug in the earth, with candles, bones, and carved pictures of the children of the old families of Stoneygate. Kit the writer and Askew the artist belong together, Askew keeps telling him. "Your stories is like my drawings, Kit. They take you back deep into the dark and show it lives within us still.... You see it, don't you? You're starting to see that you and me is just the same." Are they, though?

Kit's Wilderness conjures a world where the past is alive in the present and creeps into the future--a world where ancestral ghosts and even the slow-changing geology of the landscape are as tangible as lunch. Powerful images of darkness exploding into "lovely lovely light" filter throughout the story, as Almond boldly explores the dark side and unearths a joyful message of redemption. (Ages 11 and much, much older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:48 -0400)

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Thirteen-year-old Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.

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