Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kit's Wilderness” as Want to Read:
Kit's Wilderness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kit's Wilderness

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,720 Ratings  ·  349 Reviews
The Printz Award–winning classic gets a new look.

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit’s recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family has both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in playing a game called Death. As Kit’s grandfather tells him stories of the mine’s past and
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 11th 2001 by Laurel Leaf (first published May 20th 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 06, 2016 Maciek rated it really liked it
"Everybody's got the seam of goodness in them, Kit," said Grandpa. "Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light."

Kit's Wilderness is an eerie, dreamlike novel, permeating with a feeling of sadness and loss. It is, at times, a rather dark book - as I was reading it I was reminded of Robert Cormier's work, though his novels are definitely much darker and ultimately depressing, whereas Kit's Wilderness is ultimately hopeful and beautiful.

The novel begins with 13 year o
Mar 29, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing

Kit’s Wilderness I wonder how many times I’ve seen this title and assumed it was an American Girl book. Truly a shame… This has been out for 15 years… 15 years that I could have carried Kit and his story with me.

It almost eluded me once again, when I noticed the author, David Almond, I knew that name. A sudden surge, like a warm fuzzie or a premenopausal hot flash overcame me. Skellig.
Yes. Now, I remember.

David Almond has this incredible talent. His voice. He rambles, he doesn’t use paragraphs
Jan 03, 2010 Ricky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing; the story is creative very dark and dappled with light throughout and moved towards a wonderful creative ending. The story is original and wonderfully crafted together, showing the brilliance of David Almond writing skills. After reading Skellig I thought how could David Almond ever match this book, but he proved me wrong; he not only matched it he may have just surpassed it. As the story progresses Kit (the main character in the book) starts to write a story that links int ...more
Lisa Schensted
in a sentence: A story based journey with Kit Watson through the semi-dream/semi-reality experience in his family's hometown during his Grandfather's final times.

The story begins simply enough, with the coming home again to support a Grandfather during the loss of his Grandmother. We journey with Kit as he starts a new school, meets new people, and uncovers a plethora of family history within this small town that goes back hundreds of years. There is a genuine goodness in Kit, and a strong desir
Afton Nelson
Dec 31, 2008 Afton Nelson rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Somehow David Almond is able to craft stories that are both dark and meaningful, deep and beautiful. I can't imagine a kid falling in love with this story right away. Rather, it seems like a story that lends itself to examination, lots of thought and discussion.
May 09, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing
The best phrase I can think of to describe this story is somewhat paradoxical: "darkly sublime." It's so rich throughout, I don't think my words can come close to doing it justice here. My sister recommended that I read it after quoting a writing expert who said this book is a "master class" on how to create tone. I wholeheartedly agree.

In his appended author's note, David Almond writes "I think that stories are living things--among the most important things in the world." He certainly practices
Cynthia Egbert
Mar 23, 2014 Cynthia Egbert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-and-read
I do not even know where to begin with how much I love this book. Mr. Almond really speaks to my heart. Small England coal mining town, ancestors, major supernatural elements, family and relationships, and all of this woven with beautiful skill into a wonderful story. This is written for youth but it does have elements of real darkness that may affect some more than others. This book felt like reading something by Bradbury mixed with Susan Cooper with a dash of Hans Christian Anderson for good m ...more
Sarah Brutsch
Oct 03, 2011 Sarah Brutsch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: engl-420
With a title that sounds misleadingly like an American Girl story, I had pretty low expectations for the book and no idea what it was about. My mistake. This book was WONDERFUL! Kit Watson has a gift for seeing ghosts and for storytelling, and these gifts enable him to befriend a boy deeply jaded and hurt by experiences in life. I did wonder sometimes if the themes were specific for a YA audience, since it wasn't your typical misunderstood teen/sexuality/identity exploration I think we too often ...more
Oct 04, 2011 Kirby rated it really liked it
Shelves: 420
I grew up in an old coal-mining town in Kentucky. I never played death, probably because the miners still work there. However, the connection to the past and the land really resonated with me. The Askews and the Watsons are like the Steeles and the Cobbs, where I'm from. When people see me, they see my grandfather. He died when my mom was only six, but I know him. Sometimes it's like how Kit found his name on the monument, I feel like my ancestors live through me. I hear stories, see pictures, a ...more
Aug 15, 2013 Zora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-for-boys
This Printz award winner is a fine piece of literature, one of those YA books that any adult should like, too.

Kit's family returns to the coal mining town where his ancestors have been for generations and Kit gets engaged in game-playing, story-telling, a girl, a tough boy, and connecting with his aging grandfather. But that's not all the book is about. It's about death, and life, and ghosts, and deep time (plate tectonics, the coal), and inheritances, and decency and commitment and imagination.
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, age-ya, adventure
Almond writes a mixture of fantasy and reality that feels like a few too many sleepless nights in a row. It works.
Dec 02, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it
I don't really understand this book at all, but I know I loved it.
Jun 04, 2013 Molly rated it really liked it
I have such complicated feelings towards this book. I was not fond of Skellig, though I read it a lot while ago when I was preparing to teach high school English. Now I occasionally teach college and when I read YA or Teen, I think more towards building a good library for my children, now 4 and 2.

I'd want to read this one alongside one of my kids, so we could talk about it. There are a great number of layers, which would make it an interesting book to teach, though due to some cyclical uses of
Ofa Fotu
Oct 03, 2011 Ofa Fotu rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-420
THAT was a really good book. It was SOOOO creepy, but just for the fact that I was able to have that much of an emotional response speaks volumes for the effectiveness of the writing. It has alot of themes of death and motifs of re-birth. It would seem like a ghost story at first, but isn't so much a story about death as much as it is a story about life. It turns out to be a very uplifting read (read it in one day - -I split the read in two and the first night I was freaked out so much I couldn' ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Alyssa rated it liked it
Alyssa Morres
Award Winner

The book "Kit’s Wilderness" is a story about gaining friendships and reaching for your dreams it takes place in a small England town that is known for its coal mining. Kit the main character gets pulled into the past by Askew, a neighborhood kid, who plays the game of death in an old mining cave. In the end Kit and Askew become great friends and learn from each other about life and each of their pasts. Since this book took place in England it was hard to grasp the langua
Moira McPartlin
Kit Watson and his family return to the mining village where his ancestors lived and worked. He is drawn into the childish game of Death in the wilderness of old pit workings and a story unfolds of friendship, death and the meaning of belonging.
Although this is a YA book it is very dark and well suited to an adult read. The relationship between Kit and his grandfather is particularly well drawn. The plot had touches of a Stephen King style but this was gentler and more thoughtful. This is the ki
Jun 28, 2007 Wags rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bestof
Kit moves to an English village that used to center around coal-mining. He enters a world where life and death and ancestry become intertwined within the harsh internal and external landscape.
David Almond amazed me with this book. I did not expect to like such a dark read, but I loved it. The story is intriguing on its own, and yet transcends. It is eerie and sophisticated. Mystical, mythical, imaginative, and believable.
Andrea Blythe
Jul 02, 2015 Andrea Blythe rated it liked it
Shelves: fic-young-adult
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this story. It opens with a game called Death, in which the young teenagers of the small town of Stoneygate play inside an old coal mining shaft. There is a girl who wants to be an actress, a grandfather who tells old stories but is starting to forget his past, and a number of children ghosts. I liked the story, but didn’t love it and I’m not really sure what else to say.
Jaclyn H
Aug 07, 2016 Jaclyn H rated it it was amazing
I haven't given a book 5 stars in a long time. I love the story telling and the symbolism used in Kits Wilderness. The story of Kit is rich with descriptions, and I'm a succor for a happy ending.
Jan 15, 2009 Laurie rated it liked it
The heartbreakingly real world of coal mining is fused with magic, ghosts, and the power of friendship, family, and memory. YA
Jan 21, 2016 Anne rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant book by David Almond. Interesting, different, & so much scope for discussion with a Year 6 class.
Jul 03, 2015 Christa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uni-reading
Joseph Whitt
In the words of Allie: I just love this book. I love it!

Kit's Wildreness was easily one of my favorite reads in at least two years. Maybe that, among other reasons, makes it a difficult book for me to review elegantly. I only seem to have single words to describe my feelings for it: sublime, sad, hopeful, eery, dreamy, unique. It's a book that from the beginning grabbed my heart and held me at attention crying in desperation to be read. I ached to read more, to know the next step into Kit's wild
Feb 20, 2017 Lizzy rated it really liked it
This was good to reread, we did it at school and much of it passed me by. I was surprised by the dementia and older themes, really enjoyed the ice age tale and silky. A book with lots to offer!
Jan 31, 2017 Mike rated it it was amazing
An adventure in inter-generational shared history and mystery in a British mining town, and a book that is equal parts engrossing and difficult to describe.
Oct 31, 2016 Anaïs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 17, 2017 Swartza rated it it was amazing
An adventure in inter-generational shared history and mystery in a British mining town, and a book that is equal parts engrossing and difficult to describe.
Feb 21, 2016 Robin rated it it was amazing
With this book, British author David Almond won the second-ever Michael L. Printz Award in 2001 from the Young Adult Library Services Association in the U.S., a year after being a runner-up for the same award with Skellig. Both books have been on my shelf of "award-winning fiction for young readers" for several years, like airplanes circling over O'Hare Airport, waiting for clearance to land. Their chance finally came during a weekend of sickness when I had nothing to do but lie on my back and w ...more
Oct 27, 2013 NebraskaIcebergs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
It’s been a long time since I have read a book as unique in plot and style as Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond. The story is set in an old mining town, where many stories abound about those who were trapped during cave-ins and other disasters. The theme revolves around memories, those which Kit is told by his grandfather, and those which help Kit’s grandfather hold onto the present in his old age. Kit’s Wilderness is a beautifully-woven tale which deservedly won the Michael Printz award for lite ...more
May 31, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Heart to Heart : New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art
  • Postcards from No Man's Land
  • The White Darkness
  • John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth
  • Freewill
  • Many Stones
  • A Wreath for Emmett Till
  • Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath
  • Black Juice
  • Chanda's Secrets (Chanda, #1)
  • One Whole and Perfect Day
  • Keesha's House
  • The Ropemaker (The Ropemaker, #1)
  • Surrender
  • A Step from Heaven
  • Punkzilla
  • My Heartbeat
  • Dreamquake (The Dreamhunter Duet, #2)
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
More about David Almond...

Share This Book

“There's light and joy, but there's also darkness all around and we can be lost in it.” 28 likes
“Everybody's got the seam of goodness in them, Kit," said Grandpa. "Just a matter of whether it can be found and brought out into the light.” 19 likes
More quotes…