Monday, 5 October 2009

My Thoughts: The Fire-Eaters by David Almond

Hello from a very grey and dreary England, a trip to the gym is planned later but the weather is making me want to curl up in my pjs with a hot chocolate and a book rather than practicing dog pose for an hour.

Last night I grabbed a book off the tbr which has been there for ages, I needed a kids book which wouldn't be too expensive to post to South Africa (for a bookcrossing book exchange)and which I could read fairly fast. The Fire-Eaters has been lurking around the house for a good year since I brought it from the library for 10p.

David Almond is famous for Skellig a book I read every year to the 11yr olds in my class, and every year fall in love with all over again. And this book by him is even better!

The Fire-Eaters is set in a small Northern village, in an area of deprivation. Bobby Burns Spends his days with his friends Joseph, a lad just wanting to finish school ad make some money as a builder and Ailsa. Ailsa, is a gorgeous character, her family sift coal from the sea and beach in order to make a living, and at the age of just 12 she has become their carer since her mother died.
Bobby on the other hand is off to grammar school, a place his parents have dreamed of for his as it will allow him to move up the social ladder. But grammar school means changing friends, being strapped and mixing with a wealthier bunch of boys.
Bobby also has to contend with his father's ill health and the constant news of nuclear testings by Russia and America's threat of going to war with the Russians.

Its one of those novels about life changes, growing up, understanding the world and being at peace with yourself. I haven't explained it very well, but it creates that feeling that you can only get from kids books. Its true, it reminds you that kids lifes aren't easy but also makes you yearn for that period of true friendships and sharedness which you have less time for as an adult.
A must read for kids book lovers.


Nymeth said...

Oooh - I need to get my hands on this. On everything Almond has written, actually :P

Vivienne said...

i am still desperate to read Skelling, so I will have to add this one too now.

Bart's Bookshelf said...

You keep away from Bookmooch, Nymeth, if one comes up, it's mine I tell you, mine!

Ahem... Sorry about that Katrina!

This sounds a lovely read, but then I've yet to come across an Almond that wasn't. :)

katrina said...

I've sent mine off to someone on bookcrossing hoping they love it too. Would be great to see other peoples views.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Just read this last week. I find myself thinking about it again and again, as I did when I read Skellig.

Thank you for this review.