Reader Reviewed Half a Creature from the Sea by David Almond
  

Half a Creature from the Sea

Written by David Almond
Illustrated by Eleanor Taylor

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RRP £6.99

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from master storyteller and author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the North-East of England. It features coming of age stories on the theme of closeness to home, deftly interwoven with illuminating autobiographical pieces on the inspirations behind the fiction. It is a beautifully produced jacketed hardback edition with black and white vignette illustrations.

David Almond says of this unique collection, “Stories on the page are so beautifully neat. All that lovely black print; those lovely straight lines and paragraphs and pages. But stories are living things, creatures that move and grow in the imaginations of writer and reader. They must be solid and touchable, like the land, and must have fluid half-known depths, like the sea. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.”

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Jake Fletcher, age 13 - 'If you only want a glimpse at Almond’s work, this is the perfect snapshot. An autobiography with a difference...Sparkling in the water, David Almond’s Half a Creature From The Sea is a reflection of the storyteller’s genius.' Read full review >
  • Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'Twisted with emotion, threaded with the smell of the sea, Almond creates both fantasy and reality in this gripping book.' Read full review >
  • Emily Kinder, age 13 - 'This powerful set of short stories is typical of David Almond. All set in his  childhood village; some are charming, some are dark, all are thought provoking.' Read full review >
  • Poppy, age 15 - 'I thought that Half A Creature From The Sea were beautifully written short stories, told by a spell binding author. They where creative and imaginative, easy to picture and very enjoyable.' Read full review >

Synopsis

Half a Creature from the Sea by David Almond

This is a collection of short stories from master storyteller David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the north-east of England. Stories include: The Missing Link, Joe Quinn's Poltergeist, Harry Miller's Run, Slog's Dad, Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads, Mary Malone, Half a Creature from the Sea, and, When God Came to Kathleen's Garden.

Reviews

This coming of age collections of stories inspired by Almond's childhood in the north east, which of course is so prevalent through his work. * The Bookseller * The work of a writer of great power, and a living insight for teenage readers into the power of imagination and the way that stories grow from seed to fruit * The School Librarian * The autobiographical notes are stories in themselves, encouraging young writers in their reminder that we all have the material for fiction a short memory away. . . As well as the living roots of the stories, the prefaces reveal where, how or why Almond wrote them, and that some have seen many drafts and may never be finished: more encouragement. * Observer * If anything will encourage teenagers to start writing, it is this superb masterclass in how setting, dialogue and character can convey powerful emotions in a few words. * Daily Mail * A powerful collection of stories, interleaved by Almond's memories of the places he grew up in. It's a meditation on the power of stories . . . extraordinary dreamy atmosphere and lyrical evocation of life by the sea. * Children's Books Ireland Recommended Read * An absolute treat . . . he writes sparingly and beautifully. . . fiction to treasure * Books for Keeps * The tale-behind-the-tale preludes are intriguing-perhaps especially to big fans and those interested in the writing process-but the stories themselves shine brightest here. Taylor's illustrations, sometimes cartoonish, sometimes more abstract and moody, cast the Almondine experience in yet another new light. This is powerful, top-notch storytelling from Almond, who seems himself to be the titular half a creature from the sea, in that he, as ever, fluidly blends past and future, the living and the dead, the ordinary and the transcendent. * Kirkus Reviews *

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

Paperback
240 pages
Interest Age: From 10 to 16 years

Author

David Almond
More books by David Almond

Author's Website

www.davidalmond.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

7th April 2016

ISBN

9781406365597

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