FormatPaperback (b Format)
More books by David Almond
PublisherHodder & Stoughton Childrens Division
Publication date1st June 2006
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Lovereading4kids Price: £4.49RRP: £5.99 Saving £1.50 (25%)
The Lovereading comment:
Clay is a gripping, powerful, moving and unusual story which works on every level. It is beautifully and plainly yet lyrically written, and comes straight from the heart of a multi-award winning novelist.
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award and for the Carnegie Medal.
SynopsisClay by David Almond
Davie and his friend Geordie watch the arrival of a new boy, Stephen Rose, in their town. He seems to have come from nowhere, and when he arrives to live with his distant aunt, the local 'loony', 'Crazy Mary', no one envies his new home. But perhaps, he's the answer to Davie and Geordie's prayers - a secret weapon in their war against the monstrous Mouldy and his gang? Intrigued, Davie and Geordie befriend Stephen. But they are heading innocently down a path that brings with it a monster of an entirely unexpected nature. Their encounter with the mysterious Stephen is as incredible as it is menacing, and as the true story of Stephen's past slowly emerges, Davie's life is changed forever.
"As you'd expect from Almond's previous novels, Clay is dark and thought-provoking. This time around, though, there's no neatly tied-up ending and no redemption. The evil is still out there." Philip Ardagh, THE GUARDIAN
"An atmospheric, weird, lyrical and completely engaging masterpiece whose faint echoes of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein just add to its power." - Graham Marks, PUBLISHING NEW BOOKS OF THE YEAR
"David Almond's Clay is a subtler, more literary production. The tone is set on page one, where the main character, Davie, dislodges a bit of communion wafer that's stuck to his teeth and then takes a drag on his cigarette. The story is set in Newcastle in the 1960s in a working-class Roman Catholic community. Davie befriends Steven Rose, a new kid in town. He's a strange boy with waxy skin, haunting eyes, a talent for making clay models and an original, not to say sinister, cast of mind. Halfway through, the story takes a supernatural turn - unexpected, but the atmosphere has been so well established that it's wholly believable when it occurs. This is a weird, haunting novel for teenagers, the kind of novel Graham Greene might have produced if he'd written for this age-group." - THE INDEPENDENT
"This is extraordinary storytelling, not beneath the attention of adult readers.
Nicolette Jones" - THE SUNDAY TIMES
"Like all great books, Clay contains tragedy, hope and a sense of right (or down-to-earth goodness) being wronged. It's a reminder, if reminder is needed, that David Almond is the very best author at work in the field of Young Adult fiction in the UK." - ACHUKA
"The climax of this strange, miraculous, beautiful book will make it a classroom classic." - Amanda Craig, THE TIME
"Another powerful and enigmatic novel from Almond." - WRITE AWAY!
"Almond's work... like the best literature for children, is in fact simply literature." - Erica Wagner, THE TIME
"Hypnotic story-telling, from the Whitbread-winning, David Almond." - LOOK AT A BOOK
"Takes readers into strange new areas of the imagination that are not - like so much children's fiction - fileable under 'childhood issues'." - Claire Armistead, THE GUARDIAN
About The Author
David Almond was our Guest Editor in September 2011 CLICK HERE to see his choices.
David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. His latest novel, CLAY, was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book award and the Carnegie Medal.
David is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today, and his books are bestsellers all over the world, with sales of over 1 million copies.
He lives with his family in Northumberland.
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.
A Note from the Author
"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."
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