My Name Is Mina

by David Almond

Mina is a writer, storyteller, and poet for whom school was a box of conformity into... read more

Mina is a writer, storyteller, and poet for whom school was a box of conformity into which she didn’t fit. Now she’s homeschooled. It’s not just Mina’s abilities—she’s extraordinarily gifted with language—but also her intense sensitivity, compounded by the death of her father, that has made navigating the everyday world so challenging. David Almond’s novel about a precocious child unfolds through singular first-person narrative that includes stories Mina writes, most of them revealing events that happened in the past. Mina approaches the things she has to tell in her own time, exposing a bit more of the truth once she is ready to reveal it. She is a child who sees herself as separate from others because of her gifts, and she uses this as a means of protecting herself: There’s no chance of rejection when she doesn’t risk connection. Recognizing this, and taking the first step toward moving beyond it, is the biggest challenge Mina faces. So when she approaches the new boy who has moved in next door and says, “Hello, my name is Mina,” it’s a true act of courage. This companion novel to Skellig (U.S. edition: Delacorte Press, 1999), in which Mina was a secondary character, stands on its own. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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