Raven Summer

Quick Overview:
Led to an abandoned baby by a raven, fourteen-year-old Liam seems fated to meet two foster children who have experienced the world's violence in very different ways as he struggles to understand war, family problems, and friends who grow apart.

Thoughts On Book:
This book is such a unique find. It weaves a complicated and beautiful story of a child's entrance into the harsh realities of adult life without the maudlin musings of fleeting childhood usually found in coming of age stories. His characters are normal, strange, and endearing. Teens will not only be interested in the comings and goings of Liam, Max, Crystal, Oliver, and Nattrass, they will be interested in what motivates the characters to act in ways that are sometimes inexplicable. Readers are hit with the question of "What are you capable of?" Could a child trained to kill in a far off African country be so different than a child in a first world country with access to violent TV shows, video games, and Internet terrorist videos? This is a great conversation-starter on the realities and impact of violence both at home and abroad. It's also a great pick for teen boys.

David Almond

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." He worked as a postman, a brush salesman, an editor, and a teacher, but began to write seriously after he finished college. His first novel for children, Skellig, was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book and an ALA Notable 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 literature for young adults. David Almond lives in England with his partner and their daughter.