Excerpt from Raven Summer by David Almond, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Raven Summer

by David Almond

Raven Summer by David Almond
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2009, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2011, 208 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I get some bread and cheese and lemonade and we sit on the bench at the back door. The raven's on the gatepost now.

Jak jak! Jak jak!

It stabs its beak towards us. It flutters its wings, it bounces and bobs.

"What do you want?" I laugh.

Jak jak! Jak jak!

A printer whirrs upstairs. Dad, hard at work as usual. We look up, towards his open window.

"What's he writing now?" says Max.

"Dunno. He tells nobody nothing till it's finished."

We chew and listen.

"Weird," says Max.

I swig the lemonade, swipe my wrist across my lips.

"Aye. Sometimes it's like having a ghost in the house. Come on. Let's head out, eh?"

So we leave the garden.



2



We get onto the footpath that skirts the house, then head along the long potholed lane towards the village. There's a single hiker in a red cap moving ahead of us. There's kids on the field beside the village school. Somebody's screaming, like they're getting lumps kicked out of them. Then there's a cheer and a howl of laughter, and a bunch of them break away and belt uphill towards Great Elm.

"Want to join in?" I say.

"Mebbe," says Max.

Gordon Nattrass appears at the edge of the field. He watches us from the fence, then he jumps over it and comes towards us. He's carrying a rusty saw in his hand.

"Hello, brothers," he says.

Brothers. It's what he always says.
"What you up to, brothers? Where you off to, brothers?"

"Nowt," says Max.

"Nowhere," I say.

"What you up to?" I say.

He grins.

"Fun and games," he says. "Come on over, eh?"

Another jet screams over us and streaks away towards the east.
"Bomb them back to the Stone Age!" yells Nattrass, then he spits. "Come on," he says.

I'm about to go with him, but Max holds back.
"Mebbe later," he says.

I look at Max. I look at Nattrass. Nattrass and I were friends when we were small. We did the blood brothers thing one day, cutting our thumbs, then pressing the wounds together and letting our blood flow into each other. I touch the knife at my hip as I remember it. But it was ages back. After that he started changing, started becoming the Nattrass we know today.
He winks at me.

"OK, brother," he says. "Later, then. I'll look out for you."

He rests the saw blade at the side of his neck, then drags it back like he's going to saw his head off. He laughs, runs back to the field, and soon there's more screaming.

"I hate that bastard," says Max.

"Me too," I say.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Raven Summer by David Almond Copyright © 2009 by David Almond. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Symbolism of Ravens

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Goodbye Days
    Goodbye Days
    by Jeff Zentner
    Guilt can be a heavy burden for anyone to manage, but it's especially difficult for teenagers. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -