David Almond, Author HEAVEN EYESDavid Almond

Readers spellbound by the intriguing characters and surrealistic flavor of Almond's previous works will be eager to dive into the murky waters of this third novel, set in a riverside orphanage. Erin Law, one of the "damaged" orphan children residing at Whitegates, eloquently recounts her earliest happy memories of her mother and the way the woman's voice and touch have remained with her. One day, Erin sets out on a remarkable adventure-cum-rescue mission, with fellow orphan friends January and Mouse on a homemade raft. ("Some people will tell you that none of these things happened. They'll say they were just a dream that the three of us shared.") Their vessel gets stuck in the mire on the Black Middens, a muddy sinkhole of a place every bit as haunting and surreal as the hideout in Skellig or the abandoned mines of Kit's Wilderness. The children discover two strangers who live alongside the Middens in a dilapidated settlement: Heaven Eyes, a ghostlike girl with webbed hands (so named because "her lovely eyes... saw through all the trouble in the world to the heaven that lies beneath"), and "Grampa," her ancient caretaker. Here the children slowly unravel mysteries about the crumbling town, its muddy banks holding many treasures and the tragic history of Heaven Eyes. Possessing a rare understanding of human frailties, impulses, desires and fears, the author boldly explores the gray area between reality and imagination, and the need to construct one's own legends in order to survive. His tantalizing settings and poetic narrative have a lingering effect, much like a prophetic dream. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Hardcover - 215 pages - 978-0-340-91319-2
Hardcover - 251 pages - 978-0-7862-3696-1
Prebound-Glued - 233 pages - 978-0-606-25885-2
Prebound-Other - 233 pages - 978-0-613-72281-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-6197-2
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-7540-6147-2
Prebound-Glued - 233 pages - 978-0-7569-1154-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-56579-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-8879-5
Open Ebook - 218 pages - 978-1-4449-2105-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-440-22910-0
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