Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

This gorgeously weird novel captivates readers.

Skellig Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 9+

Good book, educational, has home schooled character

The book starts out a bit slow, in my opinion. However I do end up really liking it. It's very educational (lots of literary references - William Blake features quite heavily!) It has a home educated character in it and as we're homeschooling my 10 year old, the book was quite appropriate for us. (The main character goes to school.) There are some tense bits involving the health of the protagonist's baby sister, but it all works out alright in the end (spoilers!)

This title has:

Educational value
age 12+


David almond made some good books but this one is not that good.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (46 ):

David Almond's gorgeously weird first novel holds readers entranced in a spell woven of moonlight, owls, and poetry. The author uses language to weave an intricate spell, and there are unforgettable scenes that are burned into memory in an instant: the moment Michael first discovers Skellig, covered with spider webs and dead bluebottles; a room lit only by shafts of moonlight, in which the children and Skellig join hands and dance in a circle that floats into the air; Michael's mother, half-dreaming, seeing Skellig lifting her ailing baby out of her hospital bed, and watching as wings seem to sprout from the infant's back.

Another unusual and compelling feature is that it is never really clear just what Skellig is -- human, bird, angel, or all three. But in this strange and soaringly lyrical story, Michael and Mina are comfortable with ambiguity ("Sometimes we just have to accept there are things we can't know," Mina says), and the reader of this haunting story will have to accept this as well.

Book Details

  • Author: David Almond
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: January 1, 1998
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 182
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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