A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
  

A Song for Ella Grey

Written by David Almond

13+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   YA readers   

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children's Book prize - One of our Books of the Year 2014 and Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year 'Teen Fiction' Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story which draws lightly but to great effect on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Camping on a beach near home as a break from school and its pressures, a group of teenagers, minus their friend Ella, come across Orpheus, a wandering musician. No one knows where he comes from or whether he will appear again but his music is so special that Claire plays it down the phone to Ella. And Ella is entranced. But who is Orpheus? The power of love and the terrible danger it can pose drives this exceptionally touching and thoughtful story. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Judge and author Jenny Valentine described the book as “an absolute masterclass in the transformative power of language. It is fearless, free and full of wonder and I am changed by reading it.” Fellow judge Natasha Farrant said that reading the story of Ella Grey “hasn’t just changed the way I look at Orpheus. It has changed the way I look at the world.

The following titles were longlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children's Book Prize
Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
My Name’s Not Friday by Jon Walter
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
An Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls
El Deafo by Cece Bell
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This year’s prize is being judged by authors Piers Torday, Jenny Valentine and Natasha Farrant, and chaired by Guardian children’s books editor and Lovereading4kids editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare. Torday said: “These books are quite simply some of the best writing for children today, from graphic novels to Victorian sequels, Greek myths to the US civil war. Diverse, complex, accessible, experimental, page turning and heart-breaking, they bring young readers the world on a single shelf.”

The winner of the prize will be announced on the 19th November.

Synopsis

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

I'm the one who's left behind. I'm the one to tell the tale. I knew them both...knew how they lived and how they died. Claire is Ella Grey's best friend. She's there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story - as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.

Reviews

Infused with lyricism and with the fire and oddness of adolescence. Fresh, involving and lucid, it is a song in itself, and teens will find it fills them with poignant longing and joy. The Daily Telegraph

A desperately romantic and deeply lyrical re-imagining of Orpheus and Eurydice... David Almond at his best. * * * * * Bookbag

[David Almond] is becoming the Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Children's Fiction. -- Janni Howker TES

This is absolutely beautiful and quite possibly my favourite Almond novel to date. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is retold against a wild Northumbrian landscape: life, death, love and myths. Just wonderful. -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller

About the Author

David Almond

David Almond was our Guest Editor in September 2011 CLICK HERE to see his choices.

David Almond is the acclaimed author of many award-winning novels for children such as Skellig, Kit's Wilderness and My Name Is Mina, and has collaborated with artists Polly Dunbar, Dave McKean and Oliver Jeffers on fiction for younger readers. David's books sell all over the world, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in Hexham, Northumberland.

Click here to read more information about the author.

Julia Eccleshare on David Almond:

One of the best-loved and finest writers of today, David Almond made an immediate impact with Skellig, his first book. The moving story of a boy’s discovery of a strange creature in the shed which can be interpreted in many ways introduced some to the recurrent themes of David Almond’s writing. Infused with a touch of magic or the supernatural or ‘belief’, David Almond writes sensitively about the inner complexities of growing up. Much influenced by the landscape of Tyneside where he was brought up and still lives, David Almond’s books have a strong sense of place especially in titles such as Heaven’s Eyes, The Fire-Eater and Kit’s Wilderness. Although often clearly set in some particular time, there is a timeless quality to David Almond’s stories which give them enduring appeal.

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
272 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

David Almond
More books by David Almond

Author's Website

www.davidalmond.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Books

Publication date

2nd March 2015

ISBN

9781444919547

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