Clay by David Almond
  

Clay

Written by David Almond

11+ readers   eBooks   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids 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.

David Almond novels in order of publication: Skellig, Kit’s Wilderness, Heaven Eyes, Counting Stars, Secret Heart, The Fire-Eaters, Clay and most recently Jackdaw Summer.

Synopsis

Clay 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.

Reviews

"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

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

As a child

I grew up in a large Catholic family in Felling-on-Tyne: four sisters and one brother. I always knew I'd be a writer – I wrote stories and stitched them into little books. I had an uncle who was a printer, and in his printing shop I learned my love of black words on white pages. I loved our local library and dreamed of seeing books with my name on the cover on its shelves. I also dreamed of playing for Newcastle United (and I still wait for the call!). There was much joy in my childhood, but also much sadness: a baby sister died when I was 7; my dad died when we were all still young; my mum was always seriously ill with arthritis. But it was a childhood, like all childhoods, that provided everything a writer needs, and it illuminates and informs everything I write.

As an adult

After school, I read English and American Literature. When I graduated I became a teacher – long holidays, short days, just perfect for a writer. After 5 years, I gave up the job and lived in a commune in rural Norfolk where I wrote and met my partner Sara Jane. I wrote a long adult novel that was rejected by every UK publisher. I had two collections of short stories published by the tiny IRON Press. I started another adult novel, put it aside, and suddenly, out of the blue, I found myself writing Skellig. It was as if the story had been waiting for me, and once I began, it seemed to write itself. I hadn't expected to write a children's novel, but in some way it was the natural outcome of everything I'd done before, and was the stepping-stone to everything I've done since. I now live in Northumberland with Sara Jane and our daughter Freya. I'm a full-time writer. Sara Jane makes ceramics, Freya goes to school.

As an artist

For years, I was hardly published and hardly anyone knew about me apart from a handful of keen fans. And I made just about no money at all from writing. That didn't really matter to me. I'd keep on writing, no matter what. Then I wrote Skellig and everything changed. I began to sell lots of books, to be translated into many languages, to travel, to win lots of prizes. I've written a number of novels after Skellig, including Kit's Wilderness, The Fire-Eaters and Clay. There have been stage versions of the novels, and films and an opera are on their way. I used to write in the attic at home, but there were lots of distractions – especially from email and telephone. So last year, I had a cabin built at the bottom of the garden. It's very nice, blue-grey and surrounded by trees. I have a radiator to keep me warm and I have a tap and a kettle for making tea. Every morning – when I'm at home and not travelling or making school visits or talking to people on the phone or answering emails – I carry my laptop down to the cabin and I set to work.

Things you didn't know about David Almond

I once held the school high-jump record – 5 ft 2.5 inches.

I have a pet rabbit called Bill who can grunt.

I dream about football – and kick in my sleep!

I love Japanese food – except for the thing I was given once that looked like an alien's brain.

I've taken part in three Great North Runs (half-marathons).

My favourite place is Upper Swaledale in Yorkshire.

I love bikes, camping and fires.

My first TV appearance was as an altar boy in a televised mass when I was eleven.

My grandfather was a bookie (he took bets on horse races). His advice? "Never bet." He also told me, "Never read novels. They're all just lies."

My nickname at school was Dai, and several old friends still call me that.

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.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Paperback (b Format)

Author

David Almond
More books by David Almond

Author's Website

www.davidalmond.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Hodder & Stoughton Childrens Division

Publication date

1st June 2006

ISBN

9780340773857

Categories


Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

We love Lovereading as my 5 year old loves to read new books before anyone else has a chance, she says it makes reading exciting!

Tracey Chorley
Lovereading

Lovereading 4 schools