From School Library Journal
Grade 7–9—Liam lives with his father, a famous writer, and his mother, a photographer, on Britain's Northumbrian coast. One day out wandering with his friend Max, Liam is led by a raven to a baby left with a note and some money. When Liam and his parents visit the infant's foster family, Liam connects immediately with two of the foster children, Crystal, a wild-child girl, and Oliver, a refugee from Liberia. Liam's mother falls in love with the baby, and she comes to live with his family. When Crystal and Oliver run away to Liam's secret hideaway, Oliver reveals his true identity, and Liam is forced to explore the darkest parts of his own soul as he realizes the evil he is capable of doing. Raven Summer
is set in the recent past against the backdrop of the war in Iraq. It explores how children everywhere are physically and psychologically scarred by violence and brutality that they cannot escape and can be led to do horrible things. Almond's story is a passionate plea for peace, and the putting away of weapons of war. While the question of the book's audience is a valid one, and while there are perhaps a few places where the children seem impossibly wise, and are even perhaps acting as mouthpieces for the author, this book is exquisitely crafted and will make any reader stop and think about the consequences of violence.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
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Starred Review, Booklist, September 15, 2009:
"The kindness in every chapter is heartbreaking too. A haunting story, perfect for group discussion."Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 9, 2009:
“Almond tackles complex questions about humanity
from multiple points of view; flashes of wisdom—sometimes painful, sometimes uplifting—arrive at unexpected moments”Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2009:
“[A] hypnotic, sensuous foray into the nature of war, truth, art and the savagery of humanity.”From the Hardcover edition.