18 March 2009


by David Almond

Hodder Children’s Books. Junior, Young Adult. Hardback rrp $29.99

Liam is a 14 year old boy who lives in Northumberland. Every summer, he and his friend, Max, roam the countryside pretending to find treasure, fighting battles and discovering new things.

Then one summer’s day, Liam and Max meet a jackdaw (similar to a blackbird) who appears to be asking them to follow him. Liam and Max go through the village and out into the fields, down by the river to an old derelict farm house. Inside the boys find a baby wrapped in a blanket with a note pinned to it, along with a jar full of new and old coins and notes.

Not only is finding a baby girl in an abandoned farm house unusual (to say the least!) but the note also seems strange “PLESE LOOK AFTER HER RITE. THIS IS A CHILDE OF GOD.” Liam takes the baby back to his home where the authorities sort out what to do with her.

The summer is one that Liam will never forget. Max wants to hang around girls more, Liam’s own parents seem troubled by the events, and the people that Liam encounters, all because of one little baby, will change his life, maybe for ever.

Jackdaw Summer was a wonderful read with a truly interesting tale. It could be true or it might be just make believe. Either way it will set your mind to thinking about your own friendships, family, and what happens to others.

David Almond has won the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, the Carnegie Medal, the Smarties Silver Award, the Smarties Gold Award and has been shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award for his books Skellig, Wilderness, The Fire-eaters, and Clay. Not surprisingly, Jackdaw Summer is a thought provoking and enjoyable read.

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