The Fire-Eaters by David Almond
(Costa Children's Book Award (Awards))

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Synopsis

Bobby Burns knows he’s a lucky lad. Growing up in sleepy Keely Bay, Bobby is exposed to all manner of wondrous things: stars reflecting off the icy sea, a friend that can heal injured fawns with her dreams, a man who can eat fire. But darkness seems to be approaching Bobby’s life from all sides. Bobby’s new school is a cold, cruel place. His father is suffering from a mysterious illness that threatens to tear his family apart. And the USA and USSR are testing nuclear missiles and creeping closer and closer to a world-engulfing war.

Together with his wonder-working friend, Ailsa Spink, and the fire-eating illusionist McNulty, Bobby will learn to believe in miracles that will save the people and place he loves.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About David Almond

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DAVID ALMOND lives in England.
 
Published March 25, 2009 by Yearling. 226 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fire-Eaters

Kirkus Reviews

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Woven throughout are dark, dramatic threads that begin to coalesce: father’s mysterious illness, retribution against a sadistic private-school teacher, a traveling fire-eater (the shell of a WWII veteran) who shelters nearby, the Cuban missile crisis and the encroaching threat of nuclear war.

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The Guardian

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Meanwhile the Spinkses repel the authorities who want Ailsa in school, and the children erect bonfires on the beach for a Guy Fawkes night that they may never see, while Armageddon draws ever closer.

Sep 27 2003 | Read Full Review of The Fire-Eaters (Costa Childr...

The Bookbag

Perhaps not for the youngest of young readers, no matter how enthusiastic - unlike Skellig, Almond's first novel - The Fire Eaters is a challenging book, encouraging children to confront prejudice, fear and grief.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Fire-Eaters (Costa Childr...

Common Sense Media

His books tend to be short on story and long on setting, atmosphere, and flights of lyricism and romantic vision so stunning that they bring a lump to the throat, and so poetic that they far outshine books actually written as poetry.

May 23 2004 | Read Full Review of The Fire-Eaters (Costa Childr...

KidsReads

The night when nuclear war is averted, Bobby, his family, McNulty and the neighbors gather on the beach, eating, drinking and trying to spend time together with the people and places they love before the world ends, or changes forever.

May 11 2004 | Read Full Review of The Fire-Eaters (Costa Childr...

ABC Perth

It is the summer of 1962, and 11 year old Bobby Burns is happy with his life - he has good friends, a great family, a lot more than old McNulty, a fire eater who seems to be haunting the Bobbys’ thoughts, mingling with the worry of a possible nuclear war.

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ABC Perth

leteisha rates it 5 out of 5 -- I think this book is much more exiting than the others because it has more dramas and Dudley finally gets freaked out phuong nguyen rates it 5 out of 5 -- This book has been definitely worth the wait it, seems to be leaning towards teenage situations ...

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Reader Rating for The Fire-Eaters
67%

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