76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2000
I'm 10 years old and I have read the book Skellig.I think that the people that rate these books should look at them differently.they might have think that Skellig should rank 4 1/2...but I don't.I think Skellig is a good book because it tells how us kids feel towards other people that have only some or no friends at all.It also shows that you should stand up for your friends and you should never give up on your hopes or your dreams to help other people and to take care of others other then your youself.So I hope that you listen to me because I think Skellig is great.
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2000
As a reading specialist,I enjoy taking the time to read children's books as they are sometimes better than adult novels! Skellig was a remarkable,enchanting,spiritual journey with a young boy,Michael,going through a family trauma as well as trying to adjust to a new home. When he and his new neighbor,Mina,discover Skellig, the real page-turning begins. The mystery of Skellig's identity plays along with the increasing severity of Michael's baby sister's illness. It was difficult for me to put the book down because the author keeps you guessing what will happen next. Readers will become deeply involved with all the "happenings" towards the end.This is a novel I would recommend to kids in grades 6 and up.It would also be a great read- aloud for families as well. I hope David Almond writes another novel soon!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 1999
I loved this book for how it expanded my imagination, back to a dimension it had when I was a child. I shared it with two of my 10 year old students, and they were awed by it, asked for more like it. Loved it. It gives richness and helps define an interior world. If your child is a dreamer, introspective or has big questions about life, they are very likely to be moved by this book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2000
We bought this book after reading a favorable review of it inthe New York Times Book Review. I was skeptical: for the most part,book reviews seem to get it wrong with respect to children's literature, believing that children most want gently-wrought, monosyllabic, dumbed-down stories. I read Skellig to my six-year-old daughter. We could not put it down. The man/angel, Skellig, is a character not often found in children's literature: he is gentle, plaintive, weird, human, ethereal and a little spooky all at once. Needless to say, we were both boo-hooing by the end. One word about the beginning: don't be put off by its rather formulaic start, i.e., new house, unfamiliar school, sick baby, dark garage. The amalgam of events, and especially the way David Almond presents them, makes Skellig one that should or should have received the Newberry.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully executed book. The characters are not only believable, but easy to empathize with. This book is filled with short chapters that some intermediate readers will appreciate. In this book, much of the plot hinges on the existence of Skellig (a bird man dying in a dusty garage) as well as the protagonist's dying baby sister. Interestingly, the author is in no hurry to return to the Skellig's plot only. A lot of time is spent by the narrator with his parents, at school, or in the hospital.
Introducing the character of Mina, a homeschooled little girl, the author's consistent use of the poems of William Blake works well and is never overdone. I have known a lot of little girls just like Mina herself. Precocious but not precious and full of interesting ideas. Even the character of Skellig himself is beautifully rendered here. There are plenty of children's books in which the narrator finds a pet or a person and nurtures them to health, but this one is especially interesting. Special points to the author for never saying exactly what Skellig is. A strong book all around.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 1999
Skellig was a wonderful "read", it drew my 8 year old in (as well as his babysitter and myself) and we couldn't put it down. I was looking for a book to stretch the imagination again of an 8 year old whose brain had seized up on a diet of Pokemon and Goosebumps books and Skellig worked, thank you David Almond. A young boy, discovers a strange creature, Skellig, in an old garage when he moves house. The boys's baby sister is very ill and some how he feels the failing health of Skellig is tied up with that of his sister. He meets Min a home-schooled "free thinker" who helps him to rescue Skellig and to stretch his conventional way of thinking. Lots to think about in this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read this book to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. As the reviews from children indicate, this book might be best as a read-to for they miss the subtlety in language and image: exactly where the book shines.
Almond is a master at exploring teen angst, perhaps his background as a Special Needs teacher helped here. The protagonist is a bundle of angst and he has no clue of how to deal with it. Almond puts his characters into a twilight realm, a world of half-closed eyes. Is it fantasy or imagination? Real or not? It is there the characters wind their way to a resolution.
The language is beautiful. The prose reminds me of Ray Bradbury's but on a more visceral level--an emotionality that speaks of the rawness and magic of youth.
The story abounds with wonderful symbolism (chicks, birds, flying, grounded, etc.) and sharp characterizations (Doctor Death, Skellig himself--a discarded, disused, dusty person(?)who, when in the sunlight, is beautiful) that make this book a supreme read-to for a class or parent. It is a treasure chest layered with mystery, the pain of longing, and the beauty of hoping. Of course children would miss it all on their own. This is a book through which a child needs to be led, like Alice through Wonderland, and it's a great joy to do so.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2000
While looking for a new novel to read aloud to a group of fifth grade students, I stumbled onto Skellig by David Almond. I expected a somewhat mysterious tale, and I wasn't disappointed. What I was totally unprepared for was the beauty and strange sweetness, the well-developed relationships between the characters, and the touching ending. I literally cried for two hours...ok, I cry easily, but I believe this to be one of the best novels I've read in a long time. As a read aloud, I'm not sure if my students are quite ready for Skellig. I'm going to pilot it this week and will report back when I've finished.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Michael hadn't really wanted to move to the creepy old house on Falconer Road, but his parents were determined to have more space for their growing family. The real estate agent had somehow convinced his parents that the old house was a real fixer upper and so Michael, instead of spending all day playing soccer with his friends, Leakey & Coot, was helping clear the garden and work on the house. He knew that his parents were really worried about his new baby sister, who was born early and was not doing very well. She was allowed to come home from the hospital, but had to return when she had trouble breathing. His mom and dad could think of nothing but the baby and Michael was left to his own devices.
His parents warned him not to go into the rickety old garage left standing on the property, but Michael couldn't resist exploring. What he found in the old garage astounded him - he found a kind of man in the corner. The man didn't seem to be able to carry on a normal conversation and Michael wasn't sure what to do, but he brought him food and tried to talk to him. Michael also made friends with Mina, the independent and free spirited girl who lived next door. Mina was different than anyone else that Michael had ever known and he wasn't sure that was necessarily a good thing. But Michael needed to know that he wasn't going crazy, so he showed the man to Mina. Between Mina and Michael, they were able to give Skellig, the strangely winged man, a new chance at life and to change their own lives forever.
This was a fascinating book. It is very different from most other children's books and did a superb job at conveying Michael's feelings of loneliness and alienation by the way that he described things in the story. It was interesting to get to know Michael as he progressed from being worried about how the move affected his life to worrying about his new baby sister and whether she would ever be able to come home. Skellig was a very different character and the reader never really does learn what or who he is. It is like real life in that way, mysteries are not always solved and life is colored in shades of gray. This is a great book for discussion with children or something that adults will enjoy reading on their own and thinking about.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2000
I LOVED this book it was great. When you read this book you just have to keep reading. I couldn't put it down after they have found "him." I read almost the whole book in 5 hours after that. At the beginning of the book it's boring. Just keep reading you will start to enjoy it soon. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the ending was sort of cut off and you don't really know what happened to Micheal, Mina, or his sister. I would most likely recommend this to people who like mystries and have to want to keep reading even if some parts are boring. If you like to try to solve things that they don't tell you then this is the book for you.