Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: David Almond
Every once in a while a book comes along that I have so many emotions about that it is almost impossible to know whether or not I actually enjoyed the book. This is one of those stories
Author: David Almond
Every once in a while a book comes along that I have so many emotions about that it is almost impossible to know whether or not I actually enjoyed the book. This is one of those stories.
We begin with two young friends named Liam and Max. They live in the world of Northumberland; a world that is written absolutely beautifully and dramatically by this highly-acclaimed author. Liam and Max are playing around one day when a raven lands in front of them and begins acting extremely strange. The bird bothers them, jumping around and squawking, until the boys finally follow the raven into an old, abandoned building. The raven quickly soars into the sky when the children come upon a baby with a note pinned to it saying: “Please look after her rite. This is a childe of God.”
Almost immediately, Liam finds that this foundling has a strange sort of pull for him. They carry the child back to Liam’s home where he shows his father (a rich, famous author who spends most of his time typing adventures instead of actually living them); and his mother (a woman who, although loving towards her child, seems to be caught up in a mid-life crisis. She is an artist whose work is just beginning to “take” off, even though the subjects of many of them are blood, bruises, and scarred skin.)
The foundling is placed with foster parents who look after her and name her Allison. When Liam and his family go to visit, Liam meets two more foundlings in their own rite – a refugee from Liberia named Oliver, and a young girl named Crystal who likes to cause herself harm. Oliver was orphaned as a baby when the “child” soldiers came to kill his whole family. Unfortunately, he is scheduled to be deported back to the place that caused him so much pain; back to a world that will turn him into a savage soldier who must kill no matter how he feels about human life.
This story made me angry…which, I suppose, was the whole point. Therefore, the author did a fantastic job getting me hooked into the horrible subjects of how children not only have to see war, injustice, and horrific brutality – but that they are forced to become a part of the disgusting world their forefathers left for them.
I think the hardest part for me was a young man – a bully – who lives near Max and Liam in the small town. This is a kid who likes blood, death, and pain – until it’s turned on him. In fact, his mind is so warped by all the agony that the world shows to him on a daily basis through the television, internet, etc., that seeing him take up murder as a lifestyle choice or a well-loved occupation during his adult life is not a far-off idea.
David Almond, the author of this book, is a highly “decorated” writer. In fact, his first book for YA’s won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. Not to mention it has become a successful stage play, an opera, and a movie. His writing is beautiful, illustrative, and descriptive beyond belief, yet, he makes me want to move my daughter into that big castle in the middle of Disneyworld so that the only bad thing she ever sees is Cinderella losing her glass slipper.