By David Almond
Illustrated by Dave McKean
Published by Candlewick Press
Copyright © 2008
Review by Anthony Kendrick
David Almond has hit upon some of the best advice for youth who are dealing with harrowing problems – Write it down.
Blue Baker’s father recently died. To make matters worse Blue has caught the eye of the school bully, Hopper. Because bullies are like wolves they look for the prey that is showing weakness, and right now Blue is showing weakness. Blue wishes he could smash Hopper’s face in, but he knows he’d get killed. Telling adults doesn’t seem to help either. So Blue does the only thing he can; he writes. Blue writes a graphic story about a grunting Savage who lives in his town and owns nothing more than a pair of pants and a knife. When the Savage pays a visit to Hopper in the middle of the night, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur. The Savage is almost who Blue wishes he could be, but is it who he will become?
David Almond’s character, Blue, does the right things. He ignores the bully, he talks to parents, and he talks to teachers but it doesn’t make things any better. Instead of giving in to the anger he begins to vent his feelings through storytelling. And this outlet helps him in reality more than he could have possibly imagined. Anyone who has lost a parent can relate to this book. And if you have been bullied you can relate to this book. If you have dealt with both I’m sorry, but you must read this book.