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Skellig by David Almond

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Submitted by Anonymous 
(Nov 30, 2003)

Where to start....... First of all I'd like to say that this book is clearly quite special. I have read a lot of the reviews previously and was interested to get my own view on the themes of the novel.

Michael is plunged into a world unfamiliar to him; New house, new sister, new journeys, new friends. And along with these changes comes a lot of new emotions, probably emotions that Michael has never had to deal with previously being an only child. Does he resent his baby sister?? His parents for the fact that he feels ignored and un-important due to this unexpected arrival? All of these issues were beautifully written into the book and become the very fibre of the world in which Michael lives.

I found the book very touching. Such a wonderful portrayal of a boys take on life, love, rebirth, faith, belief, friendship, courage. What I noticed also, and picked up by some of the reviewers previously, was the theories of evolution. I know that many people don't believe in this for religious and other reasons, but encapsulated in the novel, I believe it is there to demonstrate what we as a species could come to. Where are we on the chain from beasts to angels, anyway???

I'd love to delve into the thoughts and theories behind the novel but now isn't the time or place. My advice is -

Read the book! If you have read it, Read it again and really put yourself there, in Michael's world and believe, listen deeper, and have faith in humanity.

Submitted by Kelsey Scurrah 
(May 18, 2003)

My first impressions when I looked at the book were that it was going to be mysterious and strange, which it was in a way.

I enjoyed the book as I liked all the similes and adjectives that were given to describe Skellig, it really helped me to imagine what he looked like, the way he ate and the way he moved. I also liked the way that Skellig changed from being weak to strong. I thought it was good how David linked Skellig in with Michaels sister too. It sort of brought the two parts of the story together. I thought the story was very imaginative as well.

I enjoyed most of the story but there were a few odd chapters where it got slightly boring.

It was a brilliant book and I found the part about Michaels baby sister really moving.

I think the creativity of the book is marvellous and it was sort of an adventure story too.

There were happy parts and sad parts and parts where it got really exciting too, which I think were good.

If people are into adventurous and mysterious books then I would advise them to read it! When I read it I kept on wanting to read on and find out what was going to happen. I would give the book a nine out of ten overall

Submitted by Melissa Mumby 
(May 18, 2003)

My favourite part of this book was at the beginning when Michael first met Skellig. I liked it because it was meeting a new character and it described Skellig. The description it gave, using similes, metaphors etc. was fun to read and gave a good idea of what Skellig looked and acted like.

My least favourite part of this book was when Skellig, Mina and Michael danced. When I read this passage I did not understand very well all about the reason why and how they danced in circles. Although the description was quite good I found it the least understandable part of the book.

This book was about a boy called Michael who met a strange man/creature called Skellig. Michael had just moved in on Falconer road. His baby sister was ill and was in and out of hospital all of the time. He met a friend on his road  Mina and they began to investigate this man  Skellig. They helped him get stronger until he left them, leaving 3 white feathers behind. Skellig, before he left had helped Michaels baby sister to get better. At the end of the book we find out the family call their daughter, Joy.

I would give this book 7/10. This is because although it had a good story line, it was sometimes hard to understand and the language was quite complex.
I would recommend this book to children and adults of 12+.

Submitted by Hulda Fahmi 
(May 18, 2003)

Compared to all the different styles of writing Ive read, Skellig is not my book. I enjoyed the magical effect it has, and David Almond as a writer is very good and descriptive. But the story itself just isnt what Im used to reading. One major disappointing fact is the big thing about evolution. I myself dont believe in it, and I think the story shouldnt have pushed it in so strongly. I like Skellig as being a strange creature in the garage, of all places!! It makes him more special, more strange. And the way David portrays the part where Skellig dances with the baby like one. I could see Skellig holding that delicate baby and dancing around in circles across the hospital dorm. If Skellig wasnt included in the book Skellig I think I wouldnt be reading the book.
Mina is meant to be really nice but to me she seems like a horrible know it all! I cant believe Michael likes her. She thinks everything she does is right. Which totally isnt true. Her whole idea of no school makes her different and worse! Her attitude helps decrease her personality. Mina is not that understanding girl but rather, that non-understanding girl!
In general I didnt enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. But parts of it have been interesting.

Submitted by Johanna Kuck 
(May 18, 2003)

I was a bit disappointed by David Almonds prizewinning book Skellig. This is because I had expected a pure fantasy story, but it ended up being only partly fantasy and partly real-life style.

The book is about a boy, Michael, whose baby sister is sick and his parents dont pay as much attention to him as before. In his boredom, he befriends a home-schooled girl living on his street, Mina. During the coming days, they watch the owls in an old attic and make clay models. One day, Michael takes Mina to show her someone special in his old garage.
Together they drag the creature out and bring it to the old attic. There they discover that its name is Skellig and that it is a mixture of death and an angel. Michael asks Skellig to think of his sick baby sister, assuming that this might help her.
After feeding and taking care of Skellig for a while, Michael and Mina find that he miraculously disappeared.
The story ends, when Michaels baby sister is cured and given the name Joy.

Out of all characters in the story, I liked Skellig the most. This is because his being remained a mystery, unlike everyone elses. I also like the way that David Almond described in detail every wrinkle on Skelligs face and every speck of dust on his clothes.
However, I didnt like Mina that much, because she was always showing off her wisdom and thought that no one could possibly ever know all of the things that she knew.
It is very interesting to see that many Greek myths are in this story. For example: Persephone, in the instance of giving Michaels baby sister a name; and the story of Icarus that Miss Clarts told the class.
Furthermore, David Almond managed to link Michaels baby sister and Skellig very well, by letting Michael ask Skellig to think of his sister.
I didnt like the way, that the theory of evolution was woven into the story. This is because I personally dont believe in it. I would have enjoyed the story much more without this theory, but then there would be hardly anything left of it.
Concluding, I wouldnt call Skellig my favourite book. However, I would say that it is a nice story with an interesting plot, but maybe more appropriate for younger readers in Year 5 to Year 7.

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