I picked up The Savage at Half Price Books for a dollar. I loved the last David Almond book I picked up in this fashion; plus I was intrigued by the hybrid graphic/novel aspect.
Blue Baker is writing a story — not all that stuff about wizards and fairies and happily ever after — a real story, about blood and guts and adventures, because that’s what life’s really like. At least it is for Blue, since his dad died and Hopper, the town bully, started knocking him and the other kids around. But Blue’s story has a life of its own — weird and wild and magic and dark — and when the savage pays a nighttime visit to Hopper, Blue starts to wonder where he ends and his creation begins.
The verdict? It was interesting and poignant at times but felt a little forced on a occasion–although middle graders will have a very different perspective. The illustrations match the novel’s alternating raw and sentimental mood and tone. An interesting exploration of the power of imagination and the process of grief and healing.