Kirkus Reviews QR Code
RAVEN SUMMER by David Almond Kirkus Star


by David Almond

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73806-4
Publisher: Delacorte

With a storyteller’s flair and a poet’s precision, Almond reveals the fierce intensity of childhood, and this rare acknowledgment permeates his latest novel set in England’s Northumberland in the time of Bush and Blair. A noisy raven leads 14-year-old Liam Lynch and his best friend to a golden-haired baby lass, abandoned in ruins. This fairy-tale story captures the media’s imagination (and even that of his preoccupied famous-author father) and ultimately leads Liam to the green-eyed Crystal, a passionate, troubled foster-care teen who considers him “normal” in part because he’s loved by his family, and Oliver, a Liberian refugee who isn’t telling his whole, awful story. Liam’s colorful entourage forces him to examine the very nature of evil—is it the barmy, bullying Nattrass, who delights in staging blindfolded beheadings? Is it in Oliver’s eyes? In his own? Was even the sweet foundling born a beast and murderer? The baby’s happy coos, even as Iraq-bound planes fly overhead, ground this hypnotic, sensuous foray into the nature of war, truth, art and the savagery of humanity. (Fiction. 14 & up)