Award-winning author David Almond reintroduces readers to the perceptive, sensitive Mina before the events of Skellig in this lyrical and fantastical work. My Name is Mina is not only a pleasure to read, it is an intimate and enlightening look at a character whose open mind and heart have much to teach us about life, love, and the mysteries that surround us.
Mina loves the night. While everyone else is in a deep slumber, she gazes out the window, witness to the moon's silvery light. In the stillness, she can even hear her own heart beating. This is when Mina feels that anything is possible and her imagination is set free.
A blank notebook lies on the table. It has been there for what seems like forever. Mina has proclaimed in the past that she will use it as a journal, and one night, at last, she begins to do just that. As she writes, Mina makes discoveries both trivial and profound about herself and her world, her thoughts and her dreams.
This intimate prequel to Skellig is built around Mina McKee, the curious and brilliant home-schooled child who eventually befriends that book s protagonist, Michael. Mina, a budding writer, reveals her love of words in her journal; most of the book unfolds in a handwritten-looking font, with Mina s more emphatic entries exploding onto the pages in massive display type. Her lyrical, nonlinear prose records her reflections on her past, existential musings ( The human body is 65 percent water. Two-thirds of me is constantly disappearing, and constantly being replaced. So most of me is not me at all! ), and self-directed writing exercises ( I ll try to make my words break out of the cages of sadness, and make them sing for joy ). Almond gives readers a vivid picture of the joyfully free-form workings of Mina s mind and her mixed emotions about being an isolated child. Her gradual emergence from the protective shell of home is beautifully portrayed as she gingerly ventures out into the world. Not as dark, but just as passionate as Almond s previous works, this novel will inspire children to let their imaginations soar. Ages 10 up.