What Are We Reading? The Savage by David Almond

Posted on March 23, 2012 by in What Are We Reading?

Hello all and welcome to our new fortnightly feature here on the WP Blog: What Are We Reading? We thought it might be interesting for you to find out more about the kinds of things we read in our spare time. There’ll be children’s books here, and adult fiction and non-fiction too.

Our first post is from WP Editor Conrad Mason:

I’ve just finished reading The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean. Skellig is one of my all-time favourite children’s books, so I had high hopes.



David Almond’s stories often revolve around the act of writing. So here we meet Blue, whose father has died, and who begins to write a story of his own about a wild, homeless boy (The Savage) as a kind of therapy. Blue’s first-person account is interwoven with sections of The Savage, printed as though handwritten. But gradually the two bleed into each other, as Blue’s story bleeds into reality.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s so readable – beautifully spare prose, with scratchy, comic-book-style illustrations of the savage pitched somewhere between abstract and realistic, so it feels as though you’re seeing the images as they appear inside Blue’s head. At the same time, it’s sophisticated, with real emotional depth to it. The Savage does help Blue come to terms with the death of his father. But not in the way you might expect.

The Savage is aimed at 7+, but I think it’s one of those books that pretty much anyone could read and enjoy. Recommended!

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