Kit's Wilderness

by David Almond

Thirteen-year-old Kit Watson’s family has moved back to Stoneygate to care... read more

Thirteen-year-old Kit Watson’s family has moved back to Stoneygate to care for his grandfather. Grandpa’s memory and health are failing, and Kit and his family watch helplessly as the older man struggles to hold on to the present and the past. John Askew, also 13, has lived at Stoneygate his entire life. Abused by his alcoholic father, John is surly and sometimes unfriendly--a dark, seemingly dangerous presence. Both boys are gifted artists: Kit as a writer, John with his drawing. “You’re like me,” John warns Kit, and Kit wants to deny it. There is good in everyone, Kit’s grandpa tells him in reference to John. But Allie Keenan, a shining, spirited girl , warns Kit that John Askew is “a caveman” and “a lout.” Challenged by a creative teacher to write a story set in the early days of human history, Kit imagines an early cave-dweller, a boy who, much like John (now run away), fears his father, adores his baby sister, and yearns for his mother. Kits’ characters become more and more lifelike, and soon the lines between fact and fiction, waking and dreaming, past and present blur. In the space between these absolutes, Kit finds a way to say goodbye to his ailing grandfather, and John finds a way back home again. David Almond’s riveting masterpiece offers both literary richness and emotional fulfillment. Winner, CCBC 2001 Michael L. Printz Discussion (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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