A Song for Ella Grey: Book summary and reviews of A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

A Song for Ella Grey

by David Almond

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2015
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

David Almond, recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Printz Honor for Skellig, and the Printz Award for Kit's Wilderness, has crafted an enchanting modern take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

Written in lyrical prose, this novel for fans of epic romances and mythology retellings explores themes of love, loss, fate, and destiny set against the dramatic and diverse backdrop of Northern England. 

Claire and Ella and their friends are bound by ties so strong they seem unbreakable. Then the strange and handsome Orpheus strolls onto the beach, and he sings them all into an astonishing new understanding of themselves. Ella is caught the hardest, fastest, deepest - and Claire is left with the pain of looking on.

Raw, emotional, lyrical, funny, and true, A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of the joys, troubles, and desires of modern teens. It takes place in the ordinary streets of Tyneside and on the beautiful beaches of Northumberland. It's a story of first love, a love song that draws on ancient mythical forces. A love that leads Ella, Orpheus, and Claire to the gates of Death and beyond.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Like Orpheus's music, Almond's lyrical narrative will sweep readers on a journey to unearthly, mysterious realms and back. Mythological characters come to life while remaining enigmatic enough to set imaginations spinning. Ages 12 and up." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Teen readers of a literary bent and mythology enthusiasts will love this latest work from Almond." - School Library Journal

"Almond brings his hypnotic lyricism to this darkly romantic tale that sings of the madness of youth, the ache of love, and the near-impossibility of grasping death." - Kirkus

"Though the beautiful prose occasionally overpowers the characters, that murkiness contributes to the mythic otherworldliness of the story. Patient readers will likely be transfixed by this rhapsodic modern retelling of a classic tragedy." - Booklist

"Almond's ... prose seeps into your blood like word venom until you can't imagine reading anything else." - The Times (London)

"David Almond's books are strange, unsettling wild things -unfettered by the normal constraints of children's literature, beyond classification." - The Guardian

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Author Information

David Almond Author Biography

David Almond, in his own words:

I was born in Newcastle and I grew up in a big Catholic family in Felling-on-Tyne. I had four sisters and a brother and lots of relatives in the streets nearby. My dad had been in Burma during the war. He and my mum married in the late 40s. Dad became an office manager in an engineering factory. Mum was a shorthand typist until she had the children. We moved several times when I was a child, but always within Felling.

Felling had been a coal mining town, but by the time I remember anything the pits were all closed. The river at the foot of the town was lined with warehouses and shipyards. At the summit was a wild area we called the Heather Hills. I loved playing football in the fields above the town, camping out with my friends, ...

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Name Pronunciation
David Almond: To quote the author, his name is pronounced "just like the nut"

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