David Almond:

I grew up in a big extended Catholic family [in the north of England]. I listened to the stories and songs at family parties. I listened to the gossip that filled Dragone’s coffee shop. I ran with my friends through the open spaces and the narrow lanes. We scared each other with ghost stories told in fragile tents on dark nights. We promised never-ending friendship and whispered of the amazing journeys we’d take together. I sat with my grandfather in his allotment, held tiny Easter chicks in my hands while he smoked his pipe and the factory sirens wailed and larks yelled high above. I trembled at the images presented to us in church, at the awful threats and glorious promises made by black-clad priests with Irish voices. I scribbled stories and stitched them into little books. I disliked school and loved the library, a little square building in which I dreamed that books with my name on them would stand one day on the shelves. Skellig, my first children’s novel, came out of the blue, as if it had been waiting a long time to be told. It seemed to write itself. It took six months, was rapidly taken by Hodder Children’s Books and has changed my life. By the time Skellig came out, I’d written my next children’s novel, Kit’s Wilderness. These books are suffused with the landscape and spirit of my own childhood. By looking back into the past, by re-imagining it and blending it with what I see around me now, I found a way to move forward and to become something that I am intensely happy to be: a writer for children.

I’ve read the beautiful Skellig a number of times now. Tonight we watched the film.

And now, I read, David Almond has published a prequel to Skellig:












You can download a sneak peak of My Name is Mina.
Extract: My Name Is Mina by David Almond



  1. the hand of the bodger said

    ‘I found a way to move forward’: that’s the important bit in his artistic life. The part about the arthritis sufferers at the hospital coping with chronic pain is a superb metaphor for this redemptive book, and just the sort of bravery that makes it so appealing. I love the way he brings the magic spirituality of childhood to life.

  2. simonsterg said

    Yes, great that someone’s doing it (bringing the magic spirituality of childhood to life) in kids’ books.
    Just about to read it with my class – looking forward to it!

    • the hand of the bodger said

      Shoulders knees and toes!

      Hope your Geordie accent is up to it
      Can’t wait to see the youtube clip

  3. my name is mina denteh in jhs2.
    in star royal school.

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