I remember discovering David Almond shortly after he first published Skellig, although think it must have been a little late to the party as I think the follow up of Kit’s Wilderness was already out by them. I also remember falling in love with his writing immediately. For me, his writing and his stories represented a beauty and a deftness that I had not seen in a very long time. I also remember thinking, and being reminded of this with every new book he wrote, that his stories truly were fantasy of the real world. Some were more fantastical than others, and some hardly at all, and that’s what I loved about them. This book doesn’t have the fantastical elements that it’s sequel has though. It is Mina’s story; the girl who Michael, the boy in Skellig, meets. She is, by her own admission weird, ferociously independent and too intelligent for her own good. The words, in the way that they are portrayed in a variety of handwritten (mostly) fonts, are almost illustratively placed on the page and serve to direct how the book should be written: how Minds wants you to read them. The story serves to remind us of how, as adults, we almost become less intelligent when we lose the innocence of childhood.
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