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Almond – in his late 40s by the time Skellig came out – had spent the previous two decades plugging away, with varying degrees of success, at adult fiction: publishing a story here and a story. Category: Teens. Reviewer: Jill Murphy. Summary: Skellig is David Almond's debut novel. With it, he earned the reputation of being the magical realist for children. It's a wonderful book, but a challenging one and even the most confident readers would probably need to be at least ten before they were ready for it. By Vacy Vlazna. Jewish American, Michelle Cohen Corasanti's The Almond Tree should be retitled, The Normal Tree, because, as Shahada, the tree is witness, since 1947, to the normal daily atrocities by the Israeli occupiers of Palestine, and mainly because the author's overall purpose is the normalisation of the illegal occupation through the turning of every Palestinian cheek.