The Colour of the Sun by David Almond

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The Colour of the Sun by David Almond

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Beautiful, dream-like story about a boy, a crime, a feud, and growing up in a small town. It's warm and loving and manages to be both intimate and expansive. A beautiful, beautiful read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 240 Date: May 2018
Publisher: Hodder
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444919554

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Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2018

This book... explores what excites and mystifies me about the nature of being young, and dramatises the joys and excitements of growing up. And I guess it embodies my constant astonishment at being alive in this beautiful, weird, extraordinary world.

This is what David Almond says about his latest novel for young people, The Colour of the Sun. And, having now read it, I see what he is saying so clearly. This is a story of being young - both older than you used to enjoy being and younger than you aspire to be. And it's a story of finding strangeness in ordinary things.

It's an ordinary summer day, the day that Jimmy Killen dies and comes to life again.

And this is the first sentence of The Colour of the Sun. How could you not want to read it, with a first sentence like that?

It's the middle of the summer holidays. Davie has nothing to do and everything to do. He decides to spend the day wandering about and the first person he comes across is his friend Gosh, who has some unnerving news. There's a body in the church grounds. It's Jimmy Killen and he has been stabbed. Davie thinks he might know who is responsible for this awful deed and so his wander turns into a search. He walks away from the commotion and up onto the hills surrounding his little town. Along the way, he meets all sorts of characters and the difference between the real and the imaginary becomes increasingly difficult to discern...

Oh, bliddy hell. I don't know what to say! This is the thing with David Almond. You could spend a year picking tiny little details from his stories so that you can highlight how magical they are. Or you could write about the achingly beautiful way he connects our inner selves with the material world so that what he is writing could be a dream, an event, or both. But whatever you do, it feels as though a review takes away all the magic. I say it often but it's never so true as when I'm saying it about a book by Almond - you really do have to read it for yourself to understand - I certainly lack the skill to capture it. All I'm going to do is spoil it.

The Colour of the Sun is the story of a young boy, grieving from the recent death of his father, who sees something dreadful and sets out on a journey through his home town, which seems simultaneously familiar and strange. It's a dreamscape and it's an elegy to the quotidian realities of a small town and it's a melding of real and the imaginary. It's a story about finding miracles inside darkness, and it's beautiful, and I'm spoiling it, like I said I would.

So just read it. And be transported.

Read more David Almond. You won't be sorry you did. Try Clay or Heaven Eyes or go for the short stories in Counting Stars.

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Buy The Colour of the Sun by David Almond at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Colour of the Sun by David Almond at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Colour of the Sun by David Almond at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Colour of the Sun by David Almond at


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