Thursday, 17 September 2009
Susan's Top 10 Reasons to Read Skellig
So many people have written so many wonderful reviews of Skellig by David Almond, that I don't want to repeat what they have written. Rather, I've linked to as many as I can find at the bottom of this post, and starred the two that made me finally get this book. I've decided instead to list my 10 reasons to read this book, because it's a book that I think is one everyone, young and old, can love.
1. It features a doctor nick-named Dr Death by Michael, the main character, who is afraid of his white skin and ice cold eyes.
2. Owls. Owls feature in this book. Owls both giving life and taking it. Owls flying by moonlight. A boy and girl learning to say "whoo" with their hands. Didn't you try this when you were young? I did. It's their secret signal to do nighttime exploring. How cool is that?
3. The baby. The baby who is ill. The baby around whom all the book revolves, the hope, the faith, the love, the sorrow, the fear. She pierces the heart, and so does this book. (wipes tears away again)
4. A character is homeschooled and at age 10 knows all about William Blake! So homeschooling suddenly looks cool! and William Blake's visions when he was a child play a role in this book. (big hint here....)
5. You can read this book in a day. And it will stay with you for a very long time after.
6. Poetry from said Blake is quoted. By children.
7. Skellig himself - mystery creature, part human, part owl maybe, angel certainly. It's never really solved, and that is part of the charm of this lovely book.
8. Is Chinese take-away the nectar of the gods? Read this book and find out!
9. Ossification, calcification, pneumatization, in the same book - for children - as prayers and a discussion of Darwinism through children's eyes: " monkey girl" and "ape-boy".
10. Answer this question: what are shoulder blades really for? See book for answer.
bonus reason #1: Michael hears his sister's heart beat with his when he listens hard enough. Everything he draws and thinks of is about his baby sister. His love for her makes this book emotionally compelling a way that everyone from age 6 to 100 will immediately understand and relate too. He is the best older brother ever.
bonus reason # 2: No one will ever look at shoulder blades in the same way again.
Blogger's Amazing Reviews of this book, here:
****1. Mariel (Where Troubles Melt Like Raindrops) - This is the review that brought the book to my attention. Fabulous, wonderful review.
****2. Nymeth (things mean alot) - the review that made me get the book. I dare you to read these two reviews and not want to get the book. Immediately.
Both those bloggers have more reviewers listed on their posts.
Elizabeth (As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves)
Becky ( Becky's Book reviews) - someone who wasn't as keen on it!
Bookpusher (The Genteel Arsenal) - another blogger who just read it and loved it
I know there must be more reviews out there! Please let me know, and I'll gladly link them.
Meantime, here is today's Bluenose Ghosts excerpt:
It must be about eighty years ago that a strange sight was witnessed in Halifax Harbour by two residents of that city. Mrs King told me that when she was a young girl she was in a boat with a number of other people returning from a picnic. Fog was rolling in and there was a light breeze. Suddenly she saw a boat with square sails set which passed close beside their boat and they could see a crew at work as it passed them. Mrs Turnbull, sitting beside her, turned to heer and said, "Did you see that?"
"Yes," she said, "but I thought it must be a mistake. " On talking this extraordinary experience over, they concluded this must be one of the boats of d'Anville's ill-fated expedition. It had suffered death and destruction, and the pay-ship was supposed to have been sunk in Bedford Basin. Others had told of seeing it in the vicinity of Navy Island.