THE SAVAGE (Candlewick, October 2008) by David Almond is an interesting combination that offers much for tween readers. Following the death of his father from a sudden heart attack, Blue Baker is encouraged to write down his thoughts and feelings in a journal. What pours forth is, instead, sketches of a beast of a boy who eats raw meat and threatens the lives of those who dare to venture into his neck of the woods. The Savage, as he is known, however learns that there are good humans and bad. Blue and his sister happen to be two of the good ones. In a story that crosses between reality and fantasy, between civilization and savagery, and between straight narrative and Blue's rather graphic novel looking story of the Savage, Almond discusses a topic that hits home for many readers. Almond has really stretched this past year with this book and MY DAD IS A BIRDMAN both departures from CLAY and SKELLIG and his other novels. This is one powerful story.
The next posting will cover the second book of the afternoon.