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Year 7 English
Finding Resources in Accessit
Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies. Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.
Skellig by David Almond
Call Number: F ALM
Publication Date: 2009
"I thought he was dead. He was sitting with his legs stretched out and his head tipped back against the wall. He was covered with dust and webs like everything else and his face was thin and pale. Dead bluebottles were scattered on his hair and shoulders. I shined the flashlight on his white face and his black suit."
This is Michael's introduction to Skellig, the man-owl-angel who lies motionless behind the tea chests in the abandoned garage in back of the boy's dilapidated new house. As disturbing as this discovery is, it is the least of Michael's worries. The new house is a mess, his parents are distracted, and his brand-new baby sister is seriously ill. Still, he can't get this mysterious creature out of his mind--even as he wonders if he has really seen him at all. What unfolds is a powerful, cosmic, dreamlike tale reminiscent of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. British novelist David Almond works magic as he examines the large issues of death, life, friendship, love, and the breathtaking connections between all things.
Amidst the intensity and anxiety of his world, Michael is a normal kid. He goes to school, plays soccer, and has friends with nicknames like Leakey and Coot. It's at home where his life becomes extraordinary, with the help of Skellig and Mina, the quirky, strong-willed girl next door with "the kind of eyes you think can see right through you." Mina and her mother's motto is William Blake's "How can a bird that is born for joy / Sit in a cage and sing?" This question carries us through the book, as we see Michael's baby sister trapped in a hospital incubator; as we see the exquisite, winged Skellig crumpled in the garage; as we meet Mina's precious blackbird chicks and the tawny owls in her secret attic; and as we finally see a braver, bolder Michael spread his wings and fly. Skellig was the Whitbread Award's 1998 Children's Book of the Year, and this haunting novel is sure to resonate with readers young and old.
The book took me six months to write. It was my first book for young people. It was taken by the first publisher that read it, the wonderful Hodder Children’s Books. It won The Carnegie Medal and The Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year. It has been published in forty languages.
The Guardian-Book Review
What makes Skellig a unique book is that the main character, Skellig, is never fully explained. He could be anything from a sick angel to an ancient bird species. Author David Almond chooses not to tell us exactly "who" or "what" Skellig is, leaving it open to the reader's interpretation.
Skellig Character Map
After moving with his family into a new home, a boy discovers a bird-like man living in the old garage on their property.
Author, David Almond, tells us more about his book, Skellig.
Skellig Study Guide
Skellig is the name of a creature a young boy named Michael discovers in the garage of his new home on Falconer Road. The rocky and mysterious Skellig Islands off the coast of Ireland are home to an ancient monastery and thousands of puffins and gannets, which are local migratory birds. Skellig, the title character, is mysterious, birdlike, and angelic, which the association with the Skellig Islands suggests.
Themes are the main ideas or meaning that run through a text and may be shown directly or indirectly. When working out themes it helps to look closely at the language choice, setting and characters.