sevenstories’ #CBR4 Review #42: My Name is Mina by David Almond
“Mina’s a rebel. She can’t be controlled and she won’t fit in. People say she’s weird. Some says she’s just crazy. But all she wants is to be free, to be happy, and to be herself. One night, as she sits in the moonlight, she picks up an empty notebook, and begins to write. And here is her journal, Mina’s life in Mina’s own words; her stories and dreams, experiences and thoughts, her scribblings and nonsense, poems and songs. Her vivid account of her vivid life.”
I read Skellig when I was much younger and didn’t really like it so when My Name as Mina was announced as being on the Carnegie shortlist this year, I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about reading the prequel to Skelling. However, I was totally unprepared for how much I loved this. Almond’s writing is beautiful and Mina is a truly remarkable creation. The word I would use to sum this up is uplifting, I felt really inspired and moved reading this and I would highly recommend this. I think it is going to be a battle between this and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness for my pick for the Carnegie win. This book is magical and wonderful. It inspired me to work harder to nurture the students I have responsibility for and to try and make sure that they see the world to be as magical a place as Mina does, filled with endless opportunities and beauty.
First Line: “My name is Mina and I love the night.”
Why I read it: It is on the current Carnegie Prize shortlist.
Who I would recommend it to: Fans of quirky yet lyrical writing and you don’t mind a story not driven by plot. If you don’t mind precocious child narrators.