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The Savage

By: David Almond

Illustrator: Dave McKean

When Blue Baker's father dies, Blue begins writing stories about a wild, vicious boy he calls the savage. "When I drew him and wrote about him, I could see him, I could hear him, I could smell him. Sometimes it was nearly like I was him and he was me." The stories make Blue feel better, especially when he writes about the savage threatening Hopper, a local bully-but then Blue realizes that the savage has come to life. Full-color art done in ink and Adobe Photoshop.

ISBN: 9780763639327

JLG Release: Jan 2009


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Strong Violence
Topics: Writing , Savages , Death , Grief , Bullies , Empathy , Pig farms , Anger , Revenge , Gentleness , Doppelgangers , Sharing one's feelings

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Graphic Novels Middle Plus

Grades 5-8

14 titles/year

$242.20/year

Awards & Honors

2009 ALA Best Books for Young Adults

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

Horn Book

After his father's death, Blue Baker writes a story about a savage kid. The line between fantasy and reality blurs when the savage visits a bully who has been hounding Blue. This illustrated novella, a graphic novel within a novel, will satisfy Almond's fans and newcomers alike. McKean's illustrations--ink and watercolor in black, blues, and greens After his father's death, Blue Baker writes a story about a savage kid. The line between fantasy and reality blurs when the savage visits a bully who has been hounding Blue. This illustrated novella, a graphic novel within a novel, will satisfy Almond's fans and newcomers alike. McKean's illustrations--ink and watercolor in black, blues, and greens--add an appropriately eerie touch.

Junior Library Guild

A thoroughly original supernatural thriller, The Savage addresses the relationship among grief, art, and violence in a visceral yet accessible way. Just as the savage will escape Blue’s control, Blue’s writing also seems involuntary. “Once I started writing the story,” he says, “it was like I couldn’t stop . . .” The use of pho A thoroughly original supernatural thriller, The Savage addresses the relationship among grief, art, and violence in a visceral yet accessible way. Just as the savage will escape Blue’s control, Blue’s writing also seems involuntary. “Once I started writing the story,” he says, “it was like I couldn’t stop . . .” The use of phonetic spelling in his journal further emphasizes the impression that the story Blue is writing and illustrating is an unmediated expression of his deepest angers and fears. Dave McKean’s art, with its bold, gestural lines and monochromatic washes, likewise seems to be the manifestation of a raw and urgent impulse.

Blue does not completely abandon himself to his fantasies of wildness and violence, however. He imagines the savage sneaking into Hopper’s bedroom with a knife, but Blue makes the savage step back from the abyss—the savage doesn’t kill Hopper, only punches him. When Blue goes to school and sees Hopper’s black eye, he realizes that the savage has come to life. Knowing that he must finally confront his doppelganger face-to-face, Blue comes to understand that there are aspects of himself that he must acknowledge, as well as control.

Book Details

ISBN

9780763639327

First Release

January 2009

Genre

Fiction.

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

6 3/8" x 8 3/16"

Page Count

80

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.6; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.5; Points: 5;

Lexile

Level 730L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Mild Violence, Violence: Strong Violence

Topics

Writing, Savages, Death, Grief, Bullies, Empathy, Pig farms, Anger, Revenge, Gentleness, Doppelgangers, Sharing one's feelings,

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Cover Art

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