MY NAME IS MINA by David Almond

MY NAME IS MINA

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

A blank notebook sings its siren song to 9-year-old wordsmith Mina McKee in this mesmerizing prequel to British author Almond’s award-winning Skellig (1998).

Mina’s bold, uneven hand scrawls “My name is Mina and I love the night” in her first chapter “Moonlight, Wonder, Flies & Nonsense.” Rather than chronicling her life in England with her widowed mother “to boring infinitum,” she decides to let her words “murmur and scream and dance and sing.” The result is the portrait of a writer as a young girl. Mina wonders and wanders, giddily examining the nature of the mind, language, sadness, swearing, schools-as-cages, daftness, owls, death, God, verbs, pee, pneumatization, spaghetti pomodoro and modern art—all through essays, footnotes, poems, stories, dreams, creative writing assignments and the occasional “extraordinary fact,” such as that household dust is mostly made up of human skin. The pages can’t quite contain Mina’s mad joy for life’s wonders, not even with occasional blasts of giant black type and rashes of exclamation points. Readers who feel like outsiders may find a kindred spirit in the homeschooled, mostly friendless Mina, who has been called everything from a witch to “Miss Bonkers,” and fans of Skellig will enjoy discovering the moment when Michael moves in next door to Mina.

A fascinating, if breathless ramble through the cosmos. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-74073-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011




OFF TO (HOME)SCHOOL: BOOKS FOR YOUNGER TEENS:

Children FRIENDS WITH BOYS by Faith Erin Hicks
by Faith Erin Hicks
Children THE HOMESCHOOL LIBERATION LEAGUE by Lucy Frank
by Lucy Frank
Children ALICE, I THINK by Susan Juby
by Susan Juby
Children THE LINE by Teri Hall
by Teri Hall

MORE BY DAVID ALMOND

ChildrenTHE BOY WHO SWAM WITH PIRANHAS by David Almond
by David Almond
ChildrenMOUSE BIRD SNAKE WOLF by David Almond
by David Almond

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE WILD BOOK by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle