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Two Plays [Kindle Edition]

David Almond

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

David Almond turns his talents to drama in these two plays. Skellig is the dramatization of his highly acclaimed novel. What has Michael found in the derelict garage? What is this creature that lies in the darkness? Is it human, or a strange beast never seen before? And what will happen in the world when he carries it out into the light?
Wild Girl, Wild Boy is an original play produced in London by the Pop-Up Theatre company. Young Elaine has recently lost her father, and now she spends her days dreaming in the family’s garden, skipping school, unable to read or write. One day, Elaine conjures up a Wild Boy from spells and fairy seed. No one else can see him, and Elaine disappears into a world of fantasy where she and Wild Boy remember the teachings of her father. Will her mother ever come to understand?
These two plays introduce a new talent from the remarkable David Almond.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–Two sophisticated plays based on the theme of the power of love. In Wild Girl, Wild Boy, Elaine, who has lost her father, finds comfort in the wild boy who comes to visit her and whom only she can see. Her mother fears that her daughter has lost her wits from grief. Eventually, Elaine persuades her to trust in the power of their love for their deceased father and husband, and the two begin to build a new life–one that has room for fantasy, hope, and dreams. Skellig, based on Almond's novel by the same name, also includes a strong element of fantasy. Young Michael's family moves to a new home just as his baby sister is born. When his jealousy overwhelms him, he retreats to the dilapidated garage on their property and discovers that a strange old man named Skellig is living there. Fascinated by the recluse's eccentricities, Michael and his friend Mina discover that he is no ordinary mortal. When it becomes clear that Michael's newborn sister could die from a weak heart, the boy enlists Skellig's help in saving her. Well written and serious in nature, both plays have a strong spiritual element. The author's afterword explains the subtleties of writing drama vs. prose. Almond's plays–well received in Britain, as evidenced by their extensive tour and by the fact that Trevor Nunn was involved in staging one of them–will appeal to savvy thespians looking for a challenge. They will be of greater interest to and more appropriate for schools (middle through college) with strong theater departments, rather than for general collections.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Almond's exquisite novel Skellig (1998) was dramatized and performed in London at the Young Vic. The play is reproduced here, along with a shorter play, Wild Girl, Wild Boy, which has been performed for youngsters across England. What both have in common is the stirring use of magical realism to show the delicacy and strength of grieving young people, who refuse to conform and be tamed. Even those unfamiliar with Skellig will be swept into the drama of Michael, whose sister hovers near death as he cares for an old tramp, who turns out to have angel's wings. In Wild Girl, Wild Boy, Elaine, unable to read or write, conjures up Wild Boy as she grieves for her dead father and remembers his love of the wilderness. In dynamic stage confrontations, the conformists yell insults at the girl who doesn't fit in. The fast action and colloquial dialogue in both works root the beautiful fantasy in everyday life. Almond's splendid afterword raises questions about truth, lies, and storytelling, as well as the roles of writer, reader, actor, and audience. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 249 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (April 21, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TO6832
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,670,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

author spotlight
"Writing can be difficult, but sometimes it really does feel like a kind of magic. I think that stories are living things--among the most important things in the world."--David Almond

David Almond is the winner of the 2001 Michael L. Printz Award for Kit's Wilderness, which has also been named best book of the year by School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. His first book for young readers, Skellig, is a Printz Honor winner.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Miraculous beings living in a miraculous world . . .
Maybe it comes from my religious upbringing (I grew up in a big Catholic family): I do feel that we are miraculous beings living in a miraculous world. Sometimes the explanations we're given--and the possibilities we're offered--are just too restricted and mechanistic. Stories offer us a place to explore (as writers and readers) what it is to be fully human. I do think that young people are interested in the major questions--Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? Is there a God?--and they're willing to contemplate all kinds of possibilities. They haven't yet become tired by such questions.

Brutality has to be allowed its place . . .
Ten minutes of TV news is enough to convince anybody that the world is a pretty brutal place. We aren't yet perfect people living in a perfect world--and we never will be--so brutality has to be allowed its place. But the world also contains great tenderness, joy, hope, etc. I suppose that in my books I explore a world and people that are made up of opposites: good and evil, light and darkness, the beautiful and the ugly. And I hope that in the end, goodness, light, and beauty will have some kind of upper hand.

Stories as a whole form a kind of community . . .
The stories in Counting Stars don't have a straightforward chronological progression, but there are many links between the different stories. They form a kind of mosaic. Themes hinted at in one story are developed in another. Characters are seen in different situations/settings. I like to think that the stories as a whole form a kind of community or family. It's often said that there's a big difference between writing short stories and novels, but I'm not so sure. I think of my novels as a series of scenes/chapters, each of which I write with the same kind of attention I'd give to a short story.

A readership of four . . .
When I began to write Counting Stars, I wanted to write about my sisters and brother, and to use their real names, so I needed their permission. I worried that they wouldn't be happy about the book. So I invited them all to my house for dinner, and afterwards I told them my plans, and I nervously read one of the first stories, "The Fusilier." If they had said no to using their real names, Counting Stars would have been a very different book--and maybe wouldn't have been written at all. But they said yes! Over the next couple of years, after I'd written each story, I sent copies to my brother and three sisters, so that they could see how things were developing. So, in a sense, the book was written for a readership of four people.

Staring out of the window . . .
I write at home, in a little office overlooking the back garden. I scribble in an artist's sketchbook and type onto an AppleMac computer. I work all day--though some of that time will involve staring out of the window and eating apples. But I also travel quite a lot, so I'm used to writing on trains, in hotels, etc.

I used to wonder if I'd ever be able to write a novel properly . . .
For many years, I wrote nothing but short stories, and I used to wonder if I'd ever be able to write a novel properly. I wrote the stories in Counting Stars before I wrote Skellig, my first children's novel. I wrote them over a two-year period. As I wrote them, I found myself exploring childhood experience from a child's point of view. I rediscovered the powerful imaginative and emotional nature of childhood. Really, writing these stories changed me into a writer for children/young adults.

Messing about with paper clips . . .
I always wanted to be a writer. I wrote little books and stories as a boy, and wanted to see my books on the shelves of our little local library right next to my favorite books: King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, The Day of the Triffids, and The Adventures of Turkey. But as for writing, I simply like it all--right from creating new stories to messing about with paper clips. The best piece of writing advice I've ever received: Don't give up.

It's often children who read the books with the most insight . . .
I think that children can be much more perceptive, creative, and intelligent than we give them credit for. I see this in the many letters I get from my readers and in the things that they say when I meet them. Some adults assume that children will never "get" the more complex aspects of my books, but in fact it's often children who read the books with the most insight.

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