Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.

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"Beneath his jacket were wings that grew out through rips in his shirt. When they were released, the wings began to unfurl from his shoulder blades. They were twisted and uneven, they were covered in cracked and crooked feathers. They clicked and trembled as they opened. They were wider than his shoulders, higher than his head."


Carnegie winner: 1998
Author: David Almond

Michael feels alone in his new house.  He’s acclimatising to a new place, new people and also to the pressures that his mum and dad are under due to the fact that his newborn baby sister’s arrival has been premature and she now lies dangerous ill in hospital. 

In amongst the dirt and detritus of the house's garage, Michael discovers what he assumes to be a homeless man.  In attempts to help the man, Michael draws upon the help of, and forges a friendship with neighbour Mina.  There’s a joyous sense of knowledge and learning in Mina whose curiosity and intrigue about the world around her is infectious.  Together the pair are able to nurse the man in the garage to better health and make amazing discoveries about who, or rather what he is. 

The fragility of age and youth are brought into union through Michael’s baby sister and Skellig in a story that shows that there can be so much more to the people around us than outward appearance might initially suggest.  Skellig brings together wonder and the awe-inspiring nature of what it is to be alive, to think and to feel, to have many invisible bonds and connections that reach out to those we know and love, but also to those we might yet have to meet.  It’s a novel that cannot fail to touch its readers with its humanity and compassion.

This spiritual novel explores what it is to be alive, to feel awake to the possibility, to the wonders of the world that we exist in. Written with spare lyricism, it’s one that leaves an indelible impression on the minds of readers.


angels / families /


Why we chose this book ...

"We're excited to read Skellig as we have heard so much about it!"