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Skellig (Skellig #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  10,990 ratings  ·  1,255 reviews
Michael was looking forward to moving house.
It was all going to be wonderful.
But now his baby sister's ill, his parents are frantic and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless.
Then he steps into the crumbling garage...
What is this thing beneath the spiders' webs and dead flies?
A human being, or a strange kind of beast never seen before?
The only person Michael
...more
Paperback, Signature, 170 pages
Published August 11th 1998 by Hodder Children's Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Well, that was excellent.

This book is a brief mouthful of myth and hope and atmosphere. Reasons to read it?

1. There's a magical, irritable man in the narrator's garage. He likes Chinese take out and dead mice.

2. There is a wise and judgmental girl-neighbor who becomes the narrator's best friend.

3. There is no kissing.

4. There is warming family dynamic: the narrator is afraid his sickly baby sister will die.

5. There are teachers and parents and grown-ups who aren't idiots, assholes, or antagonis
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Greg
I read this because in one of Nick Hornby's Believer columns he mentioned this was supposed to be the best YA book of all time. I don't know where he got this information, maybe from the ALA or some other three letter group. He gave it a glowing review so I thought I'd read it.

My first thought after reading it was that if it had been an adult novel I would have loved it. As a novel it felt more like a very nice sketch of an interesting and magical story than what I would like from a finished bo
...more
Lynda
Dec 21, 2014 Lynda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in quality children's literature, where realism and magic are maintained.
"David Almond's lyrical tale of the angel Skellig is written with delicacy and restraint, and tells a story of love and faith with exquisite, heart-fluttering tenderness. It is an extraordinarily profound book, no matter how old the reader."
—Chair of the Whitbread Judging Panel

Ten year old Michael is not a happy boy. His family have moved into a dilapidated home in Falconer Road, which is in bad need of repair. Previously owned by a deceased old man called Ernie, the yard is completely overgrown
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Clare
I wept. Buckets. And was happier for it.
My son had this book for a school project so I read it to help him out. He had to prise it from my fingers after an hour and a half, and I wanted to go back and read it again. It embodies all that I think is good in Young Adult fiction, an unspoiled, simple but honest and direct approach - the themes are complex, but the storytelling is pure. I think adult fiction is just too pretentious sometimes, and this shows how a story can be emotive, mystical and wi
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karen
im no teen, so i cant adequately judge this. it seems more interesting than some of the teen fiction books out back when i was wee, but more like a fable or a fairy tale than a full length novel. not a waste of an hour and a half....
Kim
It's hard to be a cynic, much less a hatah when you have something pure like this. This may not be my favorite book, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy giving up a few hours on a Wednesday night to visit Michael's world.

When I was little and told to say my prayers (by hypocritical lapsed catholics, by the way) I would start by asking that my family be safe (yeah, that didn't work out so well now, did it?) and then hit the trivial things like asking that Jimmy Watts would notice me or maybe my m
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Jo
I have to say if you asked me last week whether I had read Skellig by David Almond I would have looked at you blankly for a bit and then said “Well, I have a feeling I read it in primary school. No, I definitely did. But I can’t really remember what happens in it.”

I realise that that kind of means that I saw it as forgettable but please bear in mind it was about thirteen years ago and I have a horrible memory for books. Seriously, I can forget my favourite books that I’ve only just put down and
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Teresa
I read this book because of its review in one of Nick Hornby's Believer columns. His high praise and its referencing of William Blake sold me.

It's an imaginative tale, touching and sweet but not saccharine; simply told, but with lots to think about; and suitable for its target audience of ages 8 to 12, but interesting enough for an adult (me) to keep reading and thinking. Plus I learned some new things about owls.

The story reminds me a little bit of something Neil Gaiman might write; but despit
...more
jess
I audiobook'd this because it was so short I could finish it in less than a week and because I have been on this YAF kick for the last three decades or so. The audio book is read by the author, who has a delightful accent, which greatly enriched my audio book experience. The plot is far from terribly original. Boy's life is in upheaval (new house, new neighborhood, new neighbors, new baby sister). Boy makes new friend. Boy finds something magical, shares with new friend, has enlightening, magica ...more
Sarah Hammerton
This is a truly magical book, dealing with big issues such as illness and friendship. Michael has moved to a new home and is also having to cope with the fact that his baby sister is very ill. He discovers a strange man, Skellig, living in his garage and, along with his new friend Mina, tries to help him. Skellig is more than he seems though and might just be able to help Michael too. The imagery that David Almond uses throughout the book really bring it to life and it's no surprise that it won ...more
Hannah N
Skellig is a fiction book with a lot of twist and turns. A 10 year-old boy named Michael has moved into a new neighborhood.Michael is a very adventurous boy that likes to play football with his friends and help the family. He also has an ill baby wiser that was ben to early and is in and out of the hospital. He has a mysterious creature in his garage of his new home. Is it a bird? is it a man? is it a angel? His name is Skellig. Skellig has Mina is Michaels neighbor who loves birds. Mina is the ...more
Liz
After looking at the length of this book, and reading the synopsis, I thought it was just another run-of-the-mill fantasy story. However, I was amazed at how much story and feeling David Almond was able to discuss in the short duration of the novel. He effortlessly contrasted light and dark, all the time making his characters human and believable. I was especially surprised at his ability to intertwine the poetry of William Blake, as well as some Greek mythology and archaeology, into the realist ...more
Qt
Very intriguing story. For me, the tone was a little gloomy at times, and it was not quite what I was looking for, but it was well-written. Plus, it was interesting to read a book with a home-schooler in it ;-)
Ela
Jun 12, 2012 Ela rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ela by: Anna
A beautiful book. The characters were great and the writing was lovely, to anyone who enjoyed this I would recommend that they read 'My Name is Mina' which is a prequel, in my opinion even better than Skellig.
verbava
на щастя, людство ніколи не виросте з казок. у людства завжди лишиться талант розповідати – і вміння слухати – неймовірні історії про те, наприклад, що лопатки у нас лишилися від крил (або чекають, поки ми розів'ємо собі крила), чи про те, що, якщо дуже старанно вслухатися, можна відчути, як всередині б'ється не лише своє серце, а й серце іншої, неймовірно дорогої людини. чи про істот, схожих одночасно на людей, звірів і янголів.
а якщо колись усе ж виросте. чи якщо колись усе ж утратить талант д
...more
Louise Bunting
Skellig is a beautifully written, insightful book which I very much enjoyed reading.

The story is told from the point of view of a little boy called Michael whose regular life has been turned upside down. He and his family have just moved to a run-down house on the other side of town far away from his school and all of his friends, and his baby sister is dangerously ill. Whilst his parents are pre-occupied with his little sister, Michael discovers a ‘being’ living in his decrepit garage. With th
...more
Diane Ferbrache
The story of Michael, whose parents are distracted with the serious illness of their newborn daughter. When Michael discovers a strange man (being?) hiding in their garage, he and his neighbor Mina decide to care for Skellig. Is he a man? Is he a bird? an angel? a descendent of flying dinosaurs?

I read this book many years ago when it first came out. I found it strange and a bit confusing. Although it received many awards, I felt I never really "got" it. But Almond's newest book is a prequel focu
...more
Ashley
I don't fully know how to rate this book yet. When I was reading it, and right after I finished it, I didn't really feel much. I was a little disappointed in that actually. I had high hopes for this book. The whole realistic paranormal fiction isn't super my thing though, and I don't know that I ever really got a handle on how the book was supposed to feel.
However, now that the book has had a little time to digest, I feel like there was a lot more to the story than I originally thought. It's go
...more
Cynthia Egbert
So...you have a homeschooled child who is constantly quoting William Blake, of course I am going to give this book five stars, right? Well...it is much more than that, although this did get me. I started this book when I pulled it randomly off the shelves at the local library when I was trapped there during a snowstorm. And I fell in love. I stayed up until midnight because I simply had to finish the thing. It is lyrical and beautiful and the story is superb. I am going to try and get my hands o ...more
Peggy
This is a beautifully written book that introduces many questions about the human condition in an artful, sensitive manner, appealing to young and older readers alike. The characters were refreshingly pure, and though wise beyond their years and not entirely credible were so lovely that it just didn't matter. This book made me feel happy.:)
Tash Berbank
I remember reading the beginning of this as a kid, and while I didn't read the whole book, the initial image of Skellig with his beautiful wings, couped up and dusty in a rickety old garage stayed with me, long after I'd forgotten the title of the book. I rediscovered the book at uni and decided to finally read it.
I have to say that the imagery is beautiful. It's such a sensual book and the description is vivid. It really brings the book alive. It's a dark novel done fantastically for children.
...more
Autumn
I just read Skellig and I am touched beyond words. If you will have the heart, the joy and the tears to read Skellig you will never forget or regret it at all. Smile and wave your hands in the air as David Almond takes you on a roller coaster though the most satisfying book you will ever read. The magic will captivate and the love will touch you. Prepare for your heart's biggest change, Skellig. SKELLIG WILL LEAVE YOU BREATHLESS, HOPEFUL AND WE WILL ALL FLY AWAY WITH A LITTLE PIECE OF SKELLIG IN ...more
Elliot Gomm
This is a fantastically mysterious tale of Skellig, an angel hidden within a suburban shed. It builds the suspense and intrigue gradually allowing children to keep up with the pace of the story without getting lost or confused.

For accomplished young readers Skellig is a smooth, lyrical and easy read. For lower level readers it proves a challenge with fantastic rewards. Almond gives the reader clues as to the outcomes of the story, structured into two or three page chapters, encouraging a young r
...more
Abbie Baines
Skellig is a truly magical tale written delicately, with a spiritual message that touched my heart and would of any child dealing with grief and or illness. I cried at points and laughed at others as David Almond’s emotive, mystical and witty writing consumed me.

The story is about Michael who moves to a new home closer to the hospital where his baby sister is in intensive care. Whilst being second priority in the parent’s eyes at this point, he follows his own paths discovering all the new nook
...more
Anne
I started reading this book with the year 6 class at the school I volunteered at and I think I loved it more than the children!

Unfortunately I didn't get to finish reading it, so I bought my own copy over the summer!

The book is told from the point of view of a little boy called Michael who moves house with his parents and new born baby sister. Once moving house his sister becomes very ill and his parents are forever living at the hospital with her. Michael goes against his parents’ wishes and of
...more
Ardea Smith
Title / Author / Publication Date: Skellig/David Almond/1998

Format: Paperback

Genre: Fantasy fiction

Plot Summary: By far one of the more haunting tales I have read, Skellig is the strange story of an angel unlike any other imagined. Normally, angels are angelic and white, clean and pure, and live in the clouds. When young Michael comes across an angel he is hidden away among old boxes and bottle bugs in the garage of a decrepit house he's just moved into with his family. The being, for Michael do
...more
Emily Valenti
What a beautifully written and captivating story. Skellig tells a tale of Michael, who like many young boys enjoys football, school and spending time with his family; Mum, Dad and baby sister. Yet his baby sister is ill and it seems like she will never get better. Michael, feeling the distress of this, stays at home with his Dad to help make their new house nicer for when she does return from hospital.

Michael carries a special secret. While exploring his new surroundings he stumbles across somet
...more
Jo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam
Skellig is a children’s novel written by David Almond. The book is about ten-year-old Michael and his move to a new house. His baby sister is in a critical condition with a weak heart and his mum and dad, although they love Michael, are too busy to spend time with him. Whilst rummaging through the garage, Michael finds Skellig, an unhealthy man with wings, and befriends him by bringing him Chinese food and ale. Skellig, however, never smiles and seems to be in a state of despair. Michael decides ...more
Megha
Jan 07, 2012 Megha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: younger readers
Recommended to Megha by: school
I read this for school, and I'm unsure about my feelings. I was going to give it five stars... Skellig was an enjoyable read and everything, but not actually very good literature; I think the writing style is really simple and not amazing or anything. There were also a lot of loose threads at the end: Who is Skellig? WHAT is he? Why was he in the garden shed?

I slightly understand that David Almond was trying to make it a little mysterious, but instead of just mysterious it felt like hearing thre
...more
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David Almond is a British children's writer who has penned several novels, each one to critical acclaim. He was born and raised in Felling and Newcastle in post-industrial North East England and educated at the University of East Anglia. When he was young, he found his love of writing when some short stories of his were published in a local magazine. He started out as an author of adult fiction be ...more
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“What are you?" I whispered.
He shrugged again.
"Something," he said. "Something like you, something like a beast, something like a bird, something like an angel." He laughed. "Something like that.”
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“Sometimes we just have to accept there are things we can’t know. Why is your sister ill? Why did my father die?…Sometimes we think we should be able to know everything. But we can’t. we have to allow ourselves to see what there is to see, and we have to imagine.” 18 likes
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