Kit's Wilderness

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Kit's Wilderness

by David Almond

Random House Children's Books | September 11, 2001 | Mass Market Paperbound |

4.25 out of 5 rating. 4 Reviews
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The Printz Award-winning classic gets a new look.

Written in haunting, lyrical prose, Kit's Wilderness examines the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and explores how meaning and beauty can be revealed from the depths of darkness.

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family has both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in playing a game called Death. As Kit's grandfather tells him stories of the mine's past and the history of the Watson family, Askew takes Kit into the mines, where the boys look to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

A Michael L. Printz Award Winner
An ALA Notable Book
A
Publishers Weekly Best Book

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 5.12 × 6.69 × 0.39 in

Published: September 11, 2001

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440416051

ISBN - 13: 9780440416050

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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– More About This Product –

Kit's Wilderness

Kit's Wilderness

by David Almond

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 256 Pages, 5.12 × 6.69 × 0.39 in

Published: September 11, 2001

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0440416051

ISBN - 13: 9780440416050

Read from the Book

1 In Stoneygate there was a wilderness. It was an empty space between the houses and the river, where the ancient pit, the mine, had been. That''s where we played Askew''s game, the game called Death. We used to gather at the school''s gates after the bell had rung. We stood there whispering and giggling. After five minutes, Bobby Carr told us it was time and he led us through the wilderness to Askew''s den, a deep hole dug into the earth with old doors slung across it as an entrance and a roof. The place was hidden from the school and from the houses of Stoneygate by the slope and by the tall grasses growing around it. The wild dog Jax waited for us there. When Jax began to growl, Askew drew one of the doors aside. He looked out at us, checked the faces, called us down. We stumbled one by one down the crumbling steps. We crouched against the walls. The floor was hard-packed clay. Candles burned in niches in the walls. There was a heap of bones in a corner. Askew told us they were human bones, discovered when he''d dug this place. There was a blackened ditch where a fire burned in winter. The den was lined with dried mud. Askew had carved pictures of us all, of animals, of the dogs and cats we owned, of the wild dog Jax, of imagined monsters and demons, of the gates of Heaven and the snapping jaws of Hell. He wrote into the walls the names of all of us who''d died in there. My friend Allie Keenan sat across the den from me. The blankness in her eyes said: You''re on your own
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From the Publisher

The Printz Award-winning classic gets a new look.

Written in haunting, lyrical prose, Kit's Wilderness examines the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and explores how meaning and beauty can be revealed from the depths of darkness.

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family has both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him in playing a game called Death. As Kit's grandfather tells him stories of the mine's past and the history of the Watson family, Askew takes Kit into the mines, where the boys look to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

A Michael L. Printz Award Winner
An ALA Notable Book
A
Publishers Weekly Best Book

From the Jacket

"Almond . . . creates a heartbreakingly real world fused with magical realism . . . suffusing the multilayered plot with an otherworldly glow." - Booklist, Starred

"Almond offers another tantalizing blend of human drama, surrealism and allegory." - Publishers Weekly, Starred

About the Author

DAVID ALMOND grew up in a large family in northeastern England and says, "The place and the people have given me many of my stories." His first novel for children, Skellig, was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book and an ALA-ALSC Notable Children''s Book and appeared on many best book of the year lists. His second novel, Kit''s Wilderness, won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.

Editorial Reviews

"Almond . . . creates a heartbreakingly real world fused with magical realism . . . suffusing the multilayered plot with an otherworldly glow." - Booklist, Starred

"Almond offers another tantalizing blend of human drama, surrealism and allegory." - Publishers Weekly, Starred

Bookclub Guide

US

1. When Kit and his friends play the game they call "Death," they claim they can see the ghosts of children killed in the mine. Are the ghosts that Kit and his friends see real?

2. What do you think makes John Askew, Kit, and Kit's grandfather able to see ghosts?

3. David Almond calls this book Kit''s Wilderness. Why? What is Kit's "wilderness"?

4. While studying the Ice Age in school, Kit and his classmates are asked to write a story about a young caveman called Lak. How is Kit''s own life similar to the story he writes about Lak? How is it different?

5. What is "the pit"? What do you think it represents?

6. The author sets the story in winter. How do the physical landscape and season reflect the characters''' emotional landscapes and states of mind?

7. Despite his fading memory, Kit's grandfather is always able to recognize Allie. Why? What might she represent for him? What might she represent in the story?

8. When Kit's grandfather gives him treasures from the mine-fossils from the ancient past-Kit slips the ammonite into his pocket and tells himself, "I'd keep it with me always now. A treasure from my grandfather. A gift from the deep, dark past." What other "gifts" does his grandfather bestow upon Kit?

9. John Askew is perceived as a no-good troublemaker by the townspeople. Is he really as bad as everyone thinks he is? In what ways is he darker? In what ways is he lighter?

10. What is the role of storytelling in Kit''s Wilderness? How is storytelling used throughout the novel? In what ways?

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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