Friday, November 15, 2002

David Almond. Kit's Wilderness. Laurel Leaf, 1999.

Recommended Age Range: 10 and up

Plot Summary: When Kit and his family move back to their ancestral home, the mining town of Stoneygate, he is brought into the fold of the kids from the other old families. Through playing the game of Death, he learns about life and true friendship.

Evaluation of Reader Appeal: This book will appeal to kids who like their realism filtered. In this case the filter is a kind of mystical spirituality. The novel is a ghost story, a coming of age, and an adventure all at once. For kids who have the patience for its slow pace, it is a rich, many-leveled novel.

Evaluation of Literary Merit: I loved this book. It makes me want to read more David Almond. The first person narrative is a good fit for the novel. I especially liked how the caveman story that Kit was writing ended up being John Askew's metaphorical story. I feel like there are many levels to this book that I do not fully grasp. It won the Printz award.

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