David Almond and Dave McKean together again, with a dark, powerful and moving short story.
Joe Quinn tells everyone about the poltergeist in his house, but no one believes him.
No one that is, except for Davey. He’s felt the inexplicable presence in the rooms, he’s seen random objects fly through the air.
And there’s something else … a memory of his beloved sister, and a feeling deep down that somehow it might be possible for ghosts to exist.
Nominated for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
"Blurring the boundaries between text and image, child and adult, life and afterlife, Almond and McKean create a sense of the meeting point between the human and sublime."
"The art amplifies the characteristically dark, rich tones of Almond’s prose all the way to a final Dylan Thomas-style promise that “the world and all that’s in it will continue to…hold us in its darkness and its light.”… A keen collaboration moving seamlessly between worlds inner and outer, natural and supernatural."
"This throws Joe into an existential funk, expertly rendered in McKean’s dark, mixed-media illustrations, where overlapping, scribbled sketches embody confusion and conflict, jarring collages evoke an unsettled atmosphere, and negative space echoes absence and haunting memories. Joe navigates his inner turmoil, including grief and religious confusion, forming earnest revelations about life’s poltergeists (i.e., disruptions) and finding peace."
Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist was published on March 7th 2019 by Walker Books; paperback edition now also available.
The US edition was published by Candlewick Press on September 10, 2019.
A vivid and moving story, beautifully illustrated, which commemorates the hundred-year anniversary of the end of the First World War.
"I am just a child," says John. "How can I be at war?"
It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s dad is fighting in the trenches far away in France. His mum works in the munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany.
One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can come together, and scatter the seeds of peace.
Gorgeously illustrated by David Litchfield, this is a book to treasure.
Nominated for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
The Big Topic: resources for schools about War is Over
War is Over was first published by Hodder Children’s Books in November 2018 in hardback and Kindle editions; it is now also available in paperback.
The US edition was published by Candlewick Press on May 12 2020.
Kielder Water is a wild and beautiful place, rich in folk music and legend.
Years ago, before a great dam was built to fill the valley with water, there were farms and homesteads in that valley and musicians who livened their rooms with song.
After the village was abandoned and before the waters rushed in, a father and daughter returned there. The girl began to play her fiddle, bringing her tune to one empty house after another — for this was the last time that music would be heard in that place.
With exquisite artwork by Levi Pinfold, David Almond’s lyrical narrative – inspired by a true tale – pays homage to his friends Mike and Kathryn Tickell and all the musicians of Northumberland, to show that music is ancient and unstoppable, and that dams and lakes cannot overwhelm it.
Shortlisted for the 2020 CILIP Kate Greenaway Award.
David Almond talked about the story of the dam, and the music and poetry which lie submerged within us all on Radio 4, on Sunday April 26th 2020; listen again via the BBC website.
"With its every detail – its masterful illustrations, its landscape format, and the elegant text that offers readers a way to see the promise of new life from what has been destroyed – this book triumphs."
Kirkus Reviews (USA)
"With riveting language and moody art, this true story will evoke awe and reverence of place for even very young readers."
Publishers Weekly (USA)
" a poignant collaboration between David Almond and illustrator Levi Pinfold, filled with wordless landscapes and harmonies heard deep in the reader’s mind…"
"Perhaps the most extraordinarily lovely and melancholy picture book published this year.."
"This stunning, wild and atmospheric picture book by two giants of children’s literature tells the true story of a musician father and his daughter who, before the community is lost, enter each house in the valley and play music, sing and dance in each one, so that they will always contain music – and magic.."
The Dam, illustrated by Levi Pinfold, was published by Walker Books in hardback on 11th September 2018, and in paperback on 1st August 2019.
La Diga, the Italian edition of The Dam, published by orecchio acerbo, won the Andersen Prize 2019 for best illustrated book and for children’s book of the year, and the Premio Letteratura Ragazzi 2019, for best children’s poetry book of 2019.
The beautiful and haunting novel that launched David Almond as one of the best children’s writers of today
When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain.
Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature – part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital.
But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael’s world changes for ever …
Skellig won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and is now a major Sky1 feature film, starring Tim Roth and John Simm.
Powerful and moving – The Guardian
This newly jacketed edition celebrates 20 years of this multi-award-winning novel.
Skellig is published by Hachette Children’s Group.
"The day is long, the world is wide, you’re young and free."
One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door. The world he enters is very familiar – the little Tyneside town that has always been his home – but as the day passes, it becomes ever more mysterious.
A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible. He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit hills above the town.
As the day goes on, the real and the imaginary start to merge, and Davie knows that neither he nor his world will ever be the same again.
This an outstanding novel full of warmth and light, from a multi-award-winning author. David Almond says: "I guess it embodies my constant astonishment at being alive in this beautiful, weird, extraordinary world."
The Colour of the Sun was longlisted for the 2019 Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2018.
"Touches of humor, pithy words of Northern common sense, and moments of heightened tension and mystery provide grounding elements in the midst of the reverie…A haunting tale of embracing transformation and finding beauty in an imperfect world"
"Through economic prose expressing Davie’s memories and keen observations, the book subtly shows the protagonist’s grief over losing his father and childhood innocence. Spanning only one day, it evokes the mysteriousness of life, the power of imagination, and moments when childhood and adulthood intertwine."
"The Colour of the Sun, told in a trance-like present tense, remans brilliantly suspenseful until the end. …[David Almond] is that rare thing – a writer of lucid, mature elegance, who can still see the world through adolescent eyes."
Emily Bearn, The Daily Telegraph
"Oh, bliddy hell. I don’t know what to say! This is the thing with David Almond. You could spend a year picking tiny little details from his stories so that you can highlight how magical they are. Or you could write about the achingly beautiful way he connects our inner selves with the material world so that what he is writing could be a dream, an event, or both. But whatever you do, it feels as though a review takes away all the magic. I say it often but it’s never so true as when I’m saying it about a book by Almond – you really do have to read it for yourself to understand – …"
Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
Published by Hodder Children’s Books: publication date 3rd May 2018; now also available in paperback.
The US edition, The Color of the Sun, was published by Candlewick Press on September 10, 2019, and is also available as an audiobook read by Richard Halverson.