Skellig was David Almond’s first children’s novel that was published in 1998 in Great Britain. It went on to win the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year.
Skellig is about Michael who finds a man living in his battered dusty garage. His family just moved to their new rotten home, which is in need of repair. He has lunch in the garden; a can of coke and a sandwich. I found this simple and enticing. It’s such a classic european lunch. I wounded up craving for coke (but I like pepsi) and a turkey sandwich.
Michael went into the garage that looks like it’s about to topple over, even after his parents said not to. He finds a man with bluebottles in his air, behind a tea chest. He’s thin and pale and incredibly rude. Michael tries to be nice to it but the man doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to be left alone and die. If I were Michael, I would tell my parents that a strange man/creature was living in our garage! But no, Michael decides to keep it a secret and to feed it his left over chinese take-away in the middle of the night. The man calls himself Arthur for Arthur Itis, and he calls spring rolls and pork char sui ‘food of the gods’. It’s 1am. This is making me hungry.
Michael’s baby sister was born prematurely and must undergo heart surgery. He’s worried that she won’t survive and stays away from school to keep his misery to himself. He makes a friend with Mina who is homeschooled. I believe she’s secretly jealous of Michael’s school mates, because when Michael actually attends school she doesn’t get to see him as much as she wishes. While thinking of his baby sister, Michael tells Mina about Arthur because he wants to help him get better. They take him to a adanboned home and discover that Arthur has wings! He’s an angel!
The moral of this story is to show kindness, and kindness will be shown to you. Michael fed and cared about a man that ate rats and bugs; something a regular person is not known to do. In the end Michael got what he deserved.
It’s a beautiful tale and I can see why Almond won so many awards. To be honest, this took me two to three months to read. It’s not particular long, it’s a children’s novel, but the writing was slow paced and simple. I was never engaged with the story.
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