Skellig - David Almond How refreshing -- a well-balanced and thoughtful protagonist who has close friends, does well in school, gets on with his parents (two of them, for a change), is liked by his teachers, manages -- at least, for most of the book -- not to indulge in verbal sparring with the girl-next-door. Be still, my beating heart! I wanted to give Mina a thick ear on more than one occasion and I admired Michael's restraint on the subject of home-schoolers but otherwise -- intriguing and sparely written.