There's an empty notebook lying on the table in the moonlight. It's been there for an age. I keep on saying that I'll write a journal. So I'll start right here, right now. I open the book and write the very first words: My name is Mina and I love the night. Then what shall I write? I can't just write that this happened then this happened then this happened to boring infinitum. I'll let my journal grow just like the mind does, just like a tree or a beast does, just like life does. Why should a book tell a tale in a dull straight line?
And so Mina writes and writes in her notebook, and here is her journal, Mina's life in Mina's own words: her stories and dreams, experiences and thoughts, her scribblings and nonsense, poems and songs. Her vivid account of her vivid life.
In this stunning book, David Almond revisits Mina before she has met Michael, before she has met Skellig.
Shortlisted for the 2012 Carnegie Medal.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
“Weird, how can I feel so frail and tiny sometimes, and other times so brave and bold and reckless and free, and... Does everybody feel the same?” Mina, the exceptional misfit heroine of David Almond’s new book, lives to explore the mysteries of the universe and question the “average” way of doing things. After a creative writing evaluation lands Mina in hot water, her free-spirited mother decides to homeschool her. As Mina indulges her curiosity about birds, language and creative souls like William Blake and Paul Klee, young readers—and their parents—will delight in following the threads of her swirling, humorous thoughts. Almond celebrates the power of imagination—throughout this wonderful book, he entices us with the Extraordinary Activities that Mina uses to channel her intelligence and creativity.
British author Titchmarsh (Rosie) brings the art world alive in this engaging romantic drama. In 2007, James "Jamie" Ballantyne reconnects with childhood chum and flame, Artemis "Missy" King, who resurfaces in the showroom of Jamie's auction house in Bath to bid on a painting on behalf of her grandfather. The reunited couple discover that a set of paintings by Sir Alfred James Munnings, owned by Missy's grandfather (himself owner of an established fine art gallery), are fakes. Their investigation reveals a long thread of family secrets and the source of the feud between their two families, revelations that cause the couple to split up. Titchmarsh alternates between the present and the story of Jamie's grandfather, Harry Ballantyne, and Missy's grandmother, Eleanor King, who met as art students at Oxford. The effect is nostalgic and builds anticipation and curiosity in the history of the two families, including the story behind the lost love of their grandparents.
This is so much better than Skellig... it's real and crazy and beautifully written. But although I definitely prefer this, I recommend you read Skellig before this as it will make more sense. Well done David Almond!