The Symbolism of Ravens: Background information when reading Raven Summer

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Raven Summer

by David Almond

Raven Summer
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2009, 208 pages
    Sep 2011, 208 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Beyond the Book:
The Symbolism of Ravens

Raven Summer begins with a raven beckoning to Liam to follow him. He flies a bit ahead, stops, calls to Liam - Jak jak! Jak jak! - and then flies a bit ahead again. Like this, the raven leads Liam to the abandoned baby. What is the symbolism of this loud, large beaked, black bird?

Ravens figure prominently in many legends from around the world.

Welsh: The Welsh hero, Bran, whose name means raven, was the holder of ancestral memories. He was said to be so intelligent that he had his head interred in the Sacred White Mount in London (where the Tower of London stands) - this is after being decapitated in a battle with Ireland and his head becoming an oracle! Ravens roost there and are said to be protecting Bran's wisdom.

Norse: The Norse God, Odin, was known as the Raven God. He was accompanied by two ravens: Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), who he would send out into the world to deliver messages and gather information that they would report back to him. Odin's ...

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