Skellig, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister's illness, Michael's world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.

Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical.

A strange creature - part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael's help if he is to survive.

With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital.

But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael's world changes forever ...Skellig won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book Award and is now a major Sky1 feature film, starring Tim Roth and John Simm.

David Almond is also winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen award.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780340997048

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

After finishing this book I found that Nick Hornby (a fave writer) had mentioned it as one of the best young adult books ever and I have to agree with him - this was wonderful. Mr. Almond has written a book that is both utterly simple and deeply complex, at turns both comic and moving. The tale of a boy whose new baby sister, born prematurely, may die before she is named, Almond manages a completely straightforward magical realism that draws skilfully on references as mundane as middle school soccer and as sublime as the writing and art of William Blake. Who and what is Skellig? Who knows and, ultimately, who cares? Belief is what is buried at the heart of this lovely book, and sometimes belief is all that matters.

Review by

A young boy who has just moved into a house with his family is distraught because his newborn sister has serious health problems and nobody is certain as to whether she will make it or not—so much so that they haven't even given a name to the baby yet. The house is in poor condition and there's an old garage behind it which Michael's dad has warned him against entering as it threatens to collapse at any moment. Of course, the first thing Michael does is explore the garage where he is startled to find a man in a very poor condition crouched and hidden and who has apparently been surviving by eating the various insects that populate the shed. Michael keeps his discovery secret while tending to the man's needs though he eventually decides to share his finding with his new neighbour friend Mina, a spunky home-schooled girl who is fascinated with birds and likes to quote William Blake. Together they decide to move the stranger to a safer place and nurse him back to health and eventually discover that he is a strange and fascinating creature. This story deals with feelings of fear and love and empathy, and while there is a strong fantasy component, it's wholly grounded in a reality that is far from being pretty. Maybe because of my own low spirits lately, I found it hard to cope with the ongoing threat to the baby's life, and the descriptions of the dingy, dirty, bug-infested environment that much of the story takes place in was downright unpleasant for me. I listened to the audio version and while at first David Almond's accent was perfectly charming, his somewhat monotonous and strangely paced narrative style was distracting at best. Still, I found a lot of things to like about Skellig, but the overall impression I was left with was 'ick', but I'm sure anyone who is not as easily put off by such details will quite like this sensitively told story in which hope and magical fantasy eventually win the day.

Review by

I didn't enjoy this book. There was no magic for me- I did not warm to any of the characters and found the plot rather stale.

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