I was delighted to hear that David Almond’s book, A SONG FOR ELLA GREY has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award 2015. It is thoroughly deserved!
I first met David Almond way back in 1998. We were both attending a promotional event at our then publishers. I remember telling him proudly that I was about to release my third book, TOOTH & CLAW, and he, in all modesty, told me he was only on his first, SKELLIG. Well, as the cliché goes, the rest is history. In truth we both did well enough out of those books. Though of course, David’s SKELLIG went on to be a huge international bestseller and award winner. Later adapted both for the stage and screen it is rightly considered by many a modern children’s classic.
What can I say about David Almond’s work? He is a master of his craft. He writes beautifully, and lyrically. He has a natural affinity for his readership, instinctively aware of their concerns, their preoccupations and their delight in the universe. His work is always socially aware, and if it often has a spine-tingling edge of magical realism about it, he never shies away from dealing with real-life issues, the real world his protagonists find themselves confronted with. Indeed, he is one of the most important authors for young people writing today.
And what of A SONG FOR ELLA GREY? I would not be giving anything away to say that it finds its inspiration in the classic tragic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. However, the rest I will let you find out for yourself…
Once again, congratulations David Almond.