Thursday 25 February 2010

Jackdaw Summer by David Almond

Pages 219

Published by Hodder Children's Books in 2008

Challenges - Awesome Author Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge and Young Adult Challenge

We can't turn away. We can't run. We pick our way over the rubble and sheep droppings towards the sound of crying. And there it is, on a pile of broken stones. It's a baby, wrapped in a brown blanket, in a basket. There's a scribbled note pinned to the blanket. PLEASE LOOK AFTER HER RITE, THIS IS A CHILDE OF GOD. And there's a jam jar filled with notes and coins at her side.

The summer has just begun and the weather is warm. Liam and Max are distracted by the noisy jackdaw who seems to want them to follow it. This one journey, following the jackdaw, changes Liam's life forever and he has to grow up very quickly. New friendships are formed and old friendships are tested to the limit. Liam is slowly crossing a line between good and bad and will he stop before he goes to far.

Almond has done it again. What a brilliant book.

I loved the storyline and the ending was totally unexpected. Almond's characters are well written and you cannot help but love Liam. The story is very thought provoking and explores the world of a child on the verge of adult hood. You watch Liam come to terms with the change in his relationships with his friends.

This book shows our an innocent situation can get out of hand and end up going to far. Children are put in adult situations and it is frightening how they deal with them. You come away from the book with questions relating to the way you see life. There is a realism to the words he writes, nothing comes sugar coated within his words.

I would highly suggest that this book be offered to pre teens and teenagers, as it deals with bullying and peer pressure. It also looks at conflict amongst children and then mirrors it with the conflict occurring in the world, by mentioning Iraq and World War 3.

For some reason, this book has a different title in America. Over there is it known as 'Raven Summer.'

A thoroughly good read. If you haven't read any David Almond, then I highly suggest you do.


  1. I haven't read any David Almond, this does sound good so will definitely look out for some of his books.

  2. I do so adore David Almond. And isn't that just a gorgeous cover? Love that.

  3. I have a confession to make: I picked this book up in ARC form this summer at ALA because I'd heard so many good things about the author. It sat on my shelf until December, when I went through the big purge. I read the description and the first few pages and had no interest in continuing. It's now sitting in a giveaway pile...

    I've been reading all these reviews of it lately, but so far I still haven't pulled it off the giveaway pile. :/

  4. I have to apologise for my lack of answering comments recently. I am having a few technical difficulties which are slowing me down a bit.

    Carmen - you must read Almond, though start with Skellig.

    Clover - my personal admiration for Almond grows with every book I read.

    Blodeuedd - not too intense.

    Amanda - we forgive you.LOL. We can't all be attracted to the same books.

  5. Can you believe I still haven't read a single thing by Almond? Seems almost unforgivable. And this one sounds absolutely incredible! Though they all do, for that matter.

  6. I don't understand why they change titles like that. The book sounds good and I just adore the cover!

  7. I hate the title change thing for American books. I feel like people don't give us readers here enough credit!

    I have skellig on my wishlist because of your review, so I will keep Almond on my radar!

  8. Lovely review - I definitely need to get my hands on this. It seems he can REALLY do no wrong!

  9. I loved SKELLIG and I think this one sounds marvelous too. I'll put this into my wish list.

  10. This is the first time I've ever heard of Almond, from you review I think I will have to check out his writing one day :) Thank you for the great review.


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