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Skellig by David Almond

Skellig (1998)

by David Almond

Series: Skellig (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0251523,303 (3.87)128
  1. 10
    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (pdillon)
  2. 00
    The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Shanshad)
  3. 00
    Mister Boots by Carol Emshwiller (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: gentle magic to get the characters through really rough patches
  4. 01
    Stig of the Dump by Clive King (chrisharpe)
  5. 01
    A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Though "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is a short story for adults and Skellig is a children's novel, both deal with the appearance of an unconventional angel-like figure and how that inexplicable appearance transforms the everyday world.

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A strange and atmospheric novel, full of questions and no answers. ( )
  Lukerik | May 12, 2015 |
Summary: The story of a young boy named Michael who moves into a new house with his parents and younger sister. One day, Michael goes exploring in an old garage and finds old boxes, bugs, and what appears to be a corpse sitting in the corner. The corpse is actually a starving man named Skellig who suffers from arthritis with deformed shoulders and skin. Michael starts to look after Skellig and even tries to find a cure for arthritis because of all the time he spends at the hospital with his sister Joy who has a heart condition. Michael's mother is at the hospital one night and dreams of Skellig coming in and picking up Joy and saving her. Skellig is not man, but some sort of supernatural creature.

Personal reflection: I liked this book because it reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. Even though Skellig suffers from arthritis and is poor and deformed, his heart and his ability to cure makes him special in many lives. I think students would also like Skellig's character.

Class use: Have students read independently and create plot timeline as a class. Have students decide what type of creature Skellig was and find textual evidence to support their claims.
  MelissaKlatt | Apr 30, 2015 |
Beautiful writing style. Clearly an homage to William Blake, as is referenced directly and often in the text. For some reason it didn't grab or stick with me. I read it more superficially - I was done before I really started to actually care about anyone. There's probably a lot more I'd get out of it if I discussed it with others, though. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
"First published in Great Britain"--verso t.p.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
"First published in Great Britain"--verso t.p.
  Bookman1954 | Feb 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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For Freya Grace
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I found him in the garage on a Sunday afternoon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038532653X, Hardcover)

"I thought he was dead. He was sitting with his legs stretched out and his head tipped back against the wall. He was covered with dust and webs like everything else and his face was thin and pale. Dead bluebottles were scattered on his hair and shoulders. I shined the flashlight on his white face and his black suit."

This is Michael's introduction to Skellig, the man-owl-angel who lies motionless behind the tea chests in the abandoned garage in back of the boy's dilapidated new house. 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. What unfolds is a powerful, cosmic, dreamlike tale reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. British novelist David Almond works magic as he examines the large issues of death, life, friendship, love, and the breathtaking connections between all things.

Amidst the intensity and anxiety of his world, Michael is a normal kid. He goes to school, plays soccer, and has friends with nicknames like Leakey and Coot. It's at home where his life becomes extraordinary, with the help of Skellig and Mina, the quirky, strong-willed girl next door with "the kind of eyes you think can see right through you." Mina and her mother's motto is William Blake's "How can a bird that is born for joy / Sit in a cage and sing?" This question carries us through the book, as we see Michael's baby sister trapped in a hospital incubator; as we see the exquisite, winged Skellig crumpled in the garage; as we meet Mina's precious blackbird chicks and the tawny owls in her secret attic; and as we finally see a braver, bolder Michael spread his wings and fly. Skellig was the Whitbread Award's 1998 Children's Book of the Year, and this haunting novel is sure to resonate with readers young and old. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:03 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.

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