The Book Skellig by David Almond

The book "Skellig" by David Almond is an award winning children's novel that has been adapted into a play, an opera, and a film. It has been praised by many book critics, readers, and institutions and has many great points and themes to explore.


The book is about an 11-year-old Michael and his family that have just moved into a dilapidated house. His sister was born prematurely and the whole family is afraid she won't live. Michael goes into the garage where he finds an ill and emaciated man that Michael assumes is homeless. Michael takes care of the man even though he is slightly rude.

Michael stops attending school and loses most of his friends, but he then meets Mina, a girl from across the street that he becomes close to. Mina is home schooled and takes care of some baby birds who live in her garden. She introduces Michael to them and he introduces her to the old man.

Michael asks the doctors at the hospital where his sister is being treated about arthritis and how to cure it, and the man shows Michael the wings he has at his shoulder blades. He tells Mina and Michael his name is "Skellig."

Michael's must suddenly undergo heart surgery and his mother dreams of seeing Skellig come in and cure the baby. He subsequently leaves the garage after that. Skellig tells Michael and Mina he is 'something' like an angel.


Themes of the book include taking care of the less fortunate and karma, but the book also talks about the influence being kind has on the lives of others. The book also visits the supernatural and challenges the idea of what an angel would really be like. It also parallels life and death, health and sickness.


It is very clear that one of the biggest influences for this novel is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"; however, the children in Skellig are much nicer than the townspeople in the Marquez story. This would be a great topic to discuss in a paper, though, as you can shoe the similarities and contrasts easily.

Writing a report about "Skellig" shod be an easy task as the story is quite popular and has fantastic themes that are easy to follow and write about. If you find yourself needing to write a paper about this children's book, consider the comparison and contrast of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" before any other topic, though, because it can be quite compelling.