Sharon's Reviews > Kit's Wilderness

Kit's Wilderness by David Almond
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's review
Jan 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: printz-award, ya, supernatural

I really love David Almond's writing style. Sometimes I question whether children or teens would really love it as much as I do, but it's a very different style for youth: creepy, atmospheric, and lyrical in a wholly different way than the plethora of dark teen fantasy available right now. Its devoid of almost all pop-culture references (I was actually a little jarred to read a Megadeth T-shirt described at one point) and seems much more timeless.

Similar to Skellig, a lot of this book, with its concise poetic chapters, is simply about building atmosphere. A few paragraphs will be used to describe the changing of the seasons, snow melting or ice forming along the edges of rivers. Almond obviously realizes the importance of atmosphere for the dreamy, brooding mood of his story. He also realizes the importance in the act of telling stories itself. In this book, 13-year-old Kit absorbs the stories his grandfather tells about working in the mines and seeing ghosts there, and in school begins to tell his own story about a caveman who navigates the wilderness which beautifully parallels and weaves in with a strange boy he knows from school, John Askew. As Kit begins to play the game of death with Askew and his friends, he sees the power that imagining can sometimes have on real life.

My one minor criticism is the ending of this book feels wrapped up a little too neatly, especially considering the looser and more mysterious ending to Skellig. All the same, this was a very powerfully told story about the power of stories.


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