The History of a Word 02/07/20
Publisher: Walker Books
Jointly commissioned by Seven Stories, this is multi award-winning Almond’s second book for younger readers.
Blue’s father has died suddenly, and finding that the school’s counselling increases his anguish, instead he turns to writing a story.
Ostensibly about a ‘wild boy’ who looks for food – animal or human – to eat, as Almond’s story progresses it becomes increasingly the inner story of Blue himself, wreaking vengeance on the boy who bullies him and taunts him about his father’s death.
Almond’s revelations about child grief, as ever, are unsettling, as are McKean’s tortured illustrations, but as the book progresses we witness Blue achieving a degree of acceptance, and an unworldly resolution.