STARRED REVIEW
September 10, 2019

The Color of the Sun

By David Almond

“It’s an ordinary summer day, the day that Jimmy Killen dies and comes to life again.” So begins Almond’s tale of young Davie’s journey through the streets of Tyneside town and up the hill on the other side.

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“It’s an ordinary summer day, the day that Jimmy Killen dies and comes to life again.” So begins Almond’s tale of young Davie’s journey through the streets of Tyneside town and up the hill on the other side.

It’s not a long walk, yet it feels like an epic pilgrimage for all of the people he meets along the way—a priest who questions the existence of God, little girls drawing fairies and monsters and angels in chalk on the pavement, a one-legged man with a hawthorn crutch, friends, footballers, a bonny lass, a handsome murderer, and the dead man come to life again.

Death is in the air, as it often is in Almond’s novels, where the line between the dead and the living is blurred. Often, too, the loveliness of the world is celebrated: “Ah, the mountains, Davie, and the sun and the rain, the greenness of the grass beneath me feet, the yellow in the hedges, the blueness of the sky above me head, those distant jagged islands in the blue, blue sea,” Paddy Kelly says to Davie.

Not many writers for young readers take on so much in a short novel—death and life and what’s the point of it all, anyway. If this novel covers similar ground as previous novels, just as Davie covers the same ground of Tyneside town he has walked many times, Almond views these elemental themes from a new and exciting perspective.

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The Color of the Sun

The Color of the Sun

By David Almond
Candlewick
ISBN 9781536207859

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