I think of this book as David Almond's secret masterpiece. Skellig is so well-known that it almost overshadows this one. Yet, I can't understand why, as I like My Name is Mina just a little more. It's one of those books that leaves you feeling a bit dazed after you've read it; like you're not quite back in the real world yet.
I'm not going to write my usual plot summary, as that would spoil the creativity and spontaneity of this book. Instead, I will give you a feel for the book by showing you my favourite parts.
Here are some of Mina's thoughts:
"When I was at school - at St Bede's Middle - I was told by my teacher Mrs Scullery that I should not write anything until I had planned what I would write. What nonsense!"
"Why is there anything? Why is there something rather than nothing? ... And before there was something was there just nothing? And did that nothing turn into something? And if that nothing turned into something how did it do it, and why? Why? Why? Why?"
"A few weeks later, we were reading an encyclopaedia. It said that if you counted all the people who had ever lived ... until about fifty years ago, there wouldn't be as many as the people who are alive today ... 'So that means,' I said, 'that Heaven only needs to be about as big as the earth.'"
"Ms Palaver ... was wearing a black suit with a white blouse an silver earrings. Mr Trench was also in black and white. I was about to ask them if they were off to a funeral but I thought perhaps not."
I would recommend this book to an age range of 9-13 because the language used is quite simple and Mina is a young girl. However, I definitely appreciated the humour and thoughtfulness of this book more the second time I read it, when I was older.
Overall, if you want to read something that will take you out of reality for a little while, be sure to pick up 'My Name is Mina'.