The Savage by David Almond
  

The Savage

Written by David Almond

9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award 2009. Visually stunning, this is also a spellbinding read, as the story a young boy writes develops a life of its own and begins to play a powerful role on reality. Encouraged to write about the difficult things in his life, Blue Baker creates The Savage who has the power to step out from the pages and save him from his demons.

Lovereading comment:

Prize winning novelist David Almond has a rare ability to seamlessly blend magic and reality in stories. Teamed up with illustrator Dave McKean, the two have created a powerful, moving and original story told in words and pictures. Asked to write a story, Blue writes about the harsh realities of his own life including facing up to the Hopper, the town bully and coming to terms with his own grief. Emotionally raw, The Savage will touch a deep emotional chord with all readers. To view other titles by David Almond click here.

What the Kate Greenaway Award judges said:

'McKean’s illustrations add immensely to David Almond’s prose, reflecting its quality via a subdued colour palette and a variety of styles and framing. The cover image is particularly powerful, and the whole an utterly contemporary but timeless book you can’t ignore.'

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award rewards the best in contemporary children's and young adult literature from all over the world. David Almond has been shortlisted for the award, the winner of which will be announced in March 2010.

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Synopsis

The Savage by David Almond

After his dad's death, Blue Baker finds comfort in dreaming of a wild kid who survives on a diet of berries and the occasional hapless passerby. But when the savage pays a night-time visit to the local bully, boundaries become blurred and Blue begins to wonder where he ends and the savage begins.

Reviews

This book grabs the reader from the first page. Scotland on Sunday Remarkable story. The Times This is an extremely touching and cleverly conceived story within a story of how wounds can gradually heal and sadness fade: it is excellently served by its design, layout and high production values. The Irish Times

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.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
80 pages
Interest Age: From 8

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 September 2009

ISBN

9781406319859

Categories


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