Skellig - David Almond

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 being, or a strange kind of beast never before seen? The only person Michael can confide in is his new friend, Mina. Together, they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael's world changes forever. . .





I've heard a number of my friends I've made through the online book community talk about reading this book in school. It was never in any of my assigned curriculum, but hearing David Almond's writing mentioned so often, I was curious. Figured I would start with one of his most recognizable titles. 


Skellig is a quick read telling the story of David, a young boy who is often left to his own devices as his parents struggle with the major health struggles of David's baby sister which has her in and out of the hospital pretty consistently. As he explores the new house he just moved into with his parents, he discovers a strange man living in the run-down detached garage on the property. While the man only seems to be able to spit out a handful of words and phrases, David dedicates himself to learning the man's story. With the help of his friend Mina (who lives across the street), what David discovers weaves the story into something touching and a touch fantastical. 


It was a fun little story but nothing that I was super wowed by. It's possible my experience would have been different / more memorable had I read this when I was the target age of 10-12 years old. As an adult, it was entertaining enough to keep me reading, to find out the story behind the guy in the garage... and there were some moving moments near the end... but as a whole it was just a solid 3 star read. Strangely, I found myself really liking the character Dr. MacNobola -- would totally read a spin-off book just around that guy -- but I think he only had a handful of lines in the whole book. I dunno, I just really enjoyed the way he was written.