Home > Intermediate Fiction, Senior Fiction > My Name is Mina by David Almond

My Name is Mina by David Almond

My Name is Mina by David Almond. Pub. Hodder Children’s Books, 2010.

This book is “bloody marvellous”. Better than a 4-4 draw between Newcastle and Sunderland.

I have read six David Almond books beginning with Skellig and they are works of art. This is a prequel to Skellig as it shows how Mina meets Michael before both of them meet Skellig.

Mina is a different girl. She questions everything in life, loves words and birds, but lacks an outlet for her individuality at the school she attends. “How can a bird that is born for joy, sit in a cage and sing?”

Her father died before she knew him, but she has memories and she misses his absence. Many of Almond’s characters have lost their father or are brought up by one parent.

Mina has a mother who is just brilliant. She sees that Mina is not right for the classroom and begins to home school her. The chapter where Mina writes a gibberish article for SATS day and leaves school, is hugely funny.

The real winner in this novel is the way David Almond’s uses words. He is creative and original and  by far the most lyrical  writer of children’s fiction I have read. There is not a word or a sentence out of place and everything seems so natural, like it is the way things are meant to be. You will be in awe at his brilliance which is told through an innocent yet worldly young girl called Mina who needs, by her own description  “destrangification”

This is for your gifted reader although anybody can read it. For me one of the best I have read this year.

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