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Skellig (Skellig #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  12,271 ratings  ·  1,391 reviews
David Almond’s Printz Honor–winning novel celebrates its 10th anniversary!

Ten-year-old Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is 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
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Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published January 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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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Bookworm Sean
I read this about ten years ago now, and I’d completely forgotten about how much I loved it at the time. As soon as I picked it up and began reading it again I remembered why. The story of the rebirth of Skellig is a wonderful little tale; it is an allegory for the ever evolving nature of man, and how perhaps he may not have reached his full evolutionary potential. I didn’t realise this at the time when I first read because I was only ten, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Therefore, this is a book ...more
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
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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
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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
Brad
Dear Amber,

I fear my feelings about Skellig are going to disappoint you. I didn't love it. Now that could be because it came to me too late in life to truly adore the story of the strange owl/angel/man, or perhaps I am too damn jaded, or it could just be that I no longer seem able to completely enjoy something just for the sake of enjoyment. I don't like that about me, but there it is.

Don't get me wrong. I liked Skellig plenty. I liked it enough that I've recommended it to Te and Los, and Scou
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The Royal ME
2.5 stars

This was just weird. It's very difficult to rate because it's just so strange, so I'm rating it based on how much I enjoyed it, which was not very much. Aside from Mina, none of the characters were very likeable, and I didn't get the whole angel thing, plus the writing was dull. Not recommended.
Pamela
Recently, I wrote about how certain authors just didn't connect with me, even though they are extremely well-reviewed.

A variant of this reading phenomenon has occurred in my community with David Almond. Skellig doesn't really go out very much, but I thought it was one of the most extraordinary and lyrical YA novels I'd read in a long time. I also really enjoyed Mouse Bird Snake Wolf, although I think that I am the only person, to date, to have actually checked it out of the library. That's such
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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
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
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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
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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
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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
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Peter
This is a remarkable book. Some may think it a childrens book but it is so much more.
Never have I read something that is so simple, but with an intense underlying message. To explain the plot would be an evident spoiler, other than to say that the need of everyone is different but leads to an inherent whole from the birds to the people and more, a need for change. Oh and as for Skellig himself .....
Thanks to Sean the bookworm whos review (which is far better than mine) made me buy the book on m
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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
Patty
"All the way round the house it had been the same. Just see it in your mind's eye. Just imagine what could be done. All the way round I kept thinking of the old man, Ernie Myers, that had lived here on his own for years. He'd been dead nearly a week before they found him under the table in the kitchen. That's what I saw when Stone told us about seeing with the mind's eye."

It is harder for me to come up with a quote from an audio book. I feel that I have read my audiobooks more thoroughly than I
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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.:)
Hyoeun
A book called ‘Skellig’ written by David Almond is a very eye-catching and interesting book which makes you to keep wondering what is going to happen next. This book is about a boy called Michael who is ten years old. While his parents are worried about a newborn baby who was born faster than expected and who might not survive, he finds a strange creature called Skellig from his old garage. He decides to let his neighbor, Mina to know it and soon they move him to a safer place because Skellig co ...more
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.
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Lozzi Counsell
Although I have chosen to study writing for children in year two, I wasn't too pleased about the set reading list of books. This is the second book I have had to read for the course and I was so shocked at how amazing it was that I read it within one day! Never again will I be so judgmental on age groups of books. Skellig made for a fascinating, yet exciting read. I feel so much envy about Mina's upbringing; her life honestly sounds so magical and I do wonder if the cover is meant to signify one ...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
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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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“They say that shoulder blades are where your wings were, when you were an angel," she said. "They say they're where your wings will grow again one day.” 23 likes
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