3.39 (1,306 ratings by Goodreads)
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With fascination, Davie and his friend Geordie watch the arrival of a new boy, Stephen Rose, in their town. He seems to have come from nowhere, and when he arrives to live with his distant aunt, the local Crazy Mary, no one envies his new home. But perhaps he's the answer to Davie and Geordie's prayers - a secret weapon in their war against monstrous Mouldy and his gang.

Intrigued, Davie and Geordie befriend Stephen. But they are heading innocently down a path that brings with it a monster of an entirely unexpected nature. Their encounter with the mysterious Stephen is as incredible as it is menacing, and as the true story of Stephen's past slowly emerges, Davie's life is changed for ever...

A stunning novel from the author of the modern children's classic Skellig - winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book Award. David Almond is also winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen award.
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Product details

  • 11+
  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 131 x 197 x 23mm | 282g
  • Hodder Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0340969954
  • 9780340969953
  • 119,380

Review quote

'Focusing on good and evil, love and desire and the supernatural, Clay transcends the limitations of some writing for children.' * Catriona Ferguson * '...this story is totally involving and thought provoking read.' * The Carnegie Medal Website * '... another gripping read from one of the master storytellers.' * Books Quarterly * ... lilting prose and a seamless blending of primitive magic with discerning realism. ... elegiac lyricism of a lament for lost innocence but punctuated by moments of sharply observed humour, this adroit and perceptive novel has both immediate appeal and long-lasting resonance. * The Guardian * He weaves a story web, spiderlike, that holds the reader spellbound while he spins new thought-threads on universal themes * Carousel, Autumn 2005 * ... funny, mysterious, moving, frightening, and so deftly constructed as to be fiercely compelling. ... not beneath the attention of adult readers. * Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times * ... a work of art out of the simplest words ... * Amanda Craig, The Times * An astonishing journey. I believe that Almond's books should be compulsory reading in all secondary schools. -- Imogen Stubbs * The Daily Telegraph * Hypnotic storytelling. * The Guardian * His most mysterious and spellbinding work yet. * Daily Express * This is the best that children's fiction has to offer. Brilliant. * The Guardian * The climax of this strange miraculous, beautiful book will make it a classroom classic. * The Times * Dark and thought-provoking. * The Guardian * Both exhilarating and horrifying. * Time Out * This adroit and perceptive novel has both immediate appeal and long-lasting resonance. * The Guardian * A stunning read. * The Sunday Times * Funny, mysterious, moving, frightening and so deftly constructed as to be fiercely compelling. This is extraordinary story telling. * The Sunday Times * An effective, engaging story. * The Scottish Sunday Herald *
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About David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcieres (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors.

David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.
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Rating details

1,306 ratings
3.39 out of 5 stars
5 16% (212)
4 32% (412)
3 34% (439)
2 13% (171)
1 6% (72)
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