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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly unique...
Arguably a bleak story that gradually forges itself into one of hope. Heaven Eyes follows a girl called Erin and her frequently emotional search for love and belonging, whilst still painfully dreaming that her mother will return. She is a child that hides her heart, in fear of it being torn again and is full of resentment for she is all too aware of her faults and...
Published on 16 Sept. 2008 by G. Munday

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not as mesmerising as the others
Erin Law is an orphan, living in Whitegates children's home with 11 other children. Her closest friends are January Carr - named for the month and the hospital he was found on the steps of - and Mouse Gullane, a child desparate to please. Before his father abandoned mouse he tatooed 'Please look after me' on his son's arm. Life is haunted by loss and sadness, by the...
Published on 19 Feb. 2012 by Jo Bennie


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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly unique..., 16 Sept. 2008
By 
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Paperback)
Arguably a bleak story that gradually forges itself into one of hope. Heaven Eyes follows a girl called Erin and her frequently emotional search for love and belonging, whilst still painfully dreaming that her mother will return. She is a child that hides her heart, in fear of it being torn again and is full of resentment for she is all too aware of her faults and loneliness. Stuck in an orphanage that is cold and materialistic, Erin decides to escape the clutches of the institution with her friend January Carr. With an uninvited companion for the road (the aptly named Mouse Gullane), the three children decide that the best means of escape is to build a raft and set off down the River Tyne. But once they drift further downstream, the raft gets bogged down into a stretch of marshland called the `Black Middens'. When the boards break and they are facing imminent death, a curious girl with webbed hands, palest of complexions and strange speech rescues them. Whilst in the company of the girl called `Heaven Eyes', the children cannot decide whether she is a sort of ghost, a child with unique eccentricities, or what she herself describes as a `fishy froggy thing'. Regardless of what Heaven Eyes actually is, it is clear to them that they must find a way off the forever dark lands of the Black Middens and away from the Grandfather, who holds an instant mistrust towards the three runaways that came from The Outside.

This novel is a delicate, and beautiful piece with a Gothic air to its content. Suitable for higher Key Stage 2 readers that are looking for something a little different, predictable formulae such as three children escaping from an orphanage is given a strange turn that is specific to only David Almond's writing. The backbone of the story can be used to tackle PSHE issues and to highlight ethnic and cultural issues, as well as highlighting the importance of social interaction and acceptance. Above all, the book emphasises the importance of solidarity between friends and to avoid labelling people for what they look like or the different ways they may approach a task.

`Heaven Eyes' is an elemental book. In the way that `Once' is dominated by fire (burning of the books and buildings by Nazis, the various pain described and witnessed by the main character) and earth (the struggle on the dusty roads, dirty vehicles, etc), this book holds constant reference to Water. This unlikely theme could then become the basis for discussion (i.e. `what do we mean by this statement?' `What do you think are the themes to the book Heave Eyes?'). There are also links to Science, where controlled experiments could replicate Erin's adventures (making a miniature Black Middens, constructing a raft/discussing what things float the best and looking into evolution and mutation).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful, gripping book, 18 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Paperback)
I was entranced and moved by this story of lost children.Perhaps some aspects were unbelievable but I liked the hovering between fantasy and reality that Almond suggests and was intrigued by the story. I read it in one sitting and found it very touching and satisfying so do not agree at all with the critical comments about pretentiousness etc. For me it joins a group with Walk Two Moons, After the First Death and His Dark Materials of completely compulsive and satisfying storytelling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical and haunting, 11 Mar. 2010
By 
M. Archbold "Marnie" (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Signature) (Paperback)
Another cracker from Mr Almond; atmospheric and compulsive reading. Wonderfully drawn characters and intriguing plot ensure this will be a favourite for years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, wonderful, amazing and emotional., 5 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This book was brlliant, wonderful, amazing and emotional all rolled into one. You can not explain this book in any other words. It was so good that I couldn't leave it for longer than a minute. If you have enjoyed Skellig and/or Kit's Wilderness then you will love this book. Heaven Eyes is a wonderful and magical girl that will make anyone of any age want to meet her or be near her. David Almond has such a good use of words and an imaginative mind that you can see it right there, right in front of you. You can not even begin to understand the beauty of the book unless you have read the book. Everyone should read this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hint of Magic and a Dose of Realism, 28 Sept. 2009
By 
Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Signature) (Paperback)
David Almond writes books that are some of the most profound young adult literature I have ever read. Apart from their short length, they would rate up there with any of the great works of contemporary fiction - and for young adult readers moving into a more mature theme, these works are ideal.

Okay when I said "more mature" that sounded patronising! But I cannot think of a better word. These books are deeper than most adult novels I read. But that does not mean you have to be mature to get something from them. They are written primarily for young adults, but loved by adults too. If you know a better word for that - let me know!

In this story we are intrduced to Erin Law, orphaned and living in care with other such children. They are encouraged to share their feelings about what has happened in "circle times", although Erin refuses too. They are labelled as "damaged" and encouraged to believe that they are victims of circumstance that will leave them unloved by the world.

But from time to time they run away, and on one such adventure, Erin and two friends cross a river on a raft and end up at a wharf in the muddy Black Middens area, where they meet an old man and another orphan - heaven eyes.

David Almonds works are laced with mystery, and some of that mystery remains unresolved. Who is Heaven Eyes? Ultimately the answer to that is less important than what she teaches the children about love and family and their own place in the world.

There is sadness in this book. The author, who lost a parent and a sister at an early age speaks from experience on that score, and the voices of these children are realistic and almost heart breaking at times. But the ultimate story is one of hope.

Not everyone will like this book. David Almond's books are light in enthralling plot, and heavy in characterisation. Some people will give up on the book asking "well what was it about"? Each to their own - and if you like books that are all plot and adventure, then maybe this is not for you. Then again, it is a short work and maybe it is worth a try anyway! If you like deep mystical books with a hint of magic and a large dose of realism, then this one is recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book!, 21 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Paperback)
Though not as good as Skellig or Kits Wilderness, Heaven Eyes is a truly wonderfull book. To me it created a wonderfull, uplifting feeling of friendship and freedom. It has wonderfull characters and though Heaven Eyes was a brilliant and mysterious character, the way she spoke did start to bug me. Still, I would recommend this book to children aged 10-14 and I wouldn't reccomend it to adults because they don't seem to appricaite the wonder, mystery, freindship and freedom of this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The river takes Erin on a dark, mysterious journey, 13 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
Heaven Eyes tells the story of a young orphan, Erin, who runs away from her children's home with her friend January Carr, and an unvited guest, Mouse. Their plan is to escape by taking a raft along the River Tyne, but they soon find themselvs marooned on a eery mudbank, the Black Middens. Here they meet meet a strange web-footed creature, Heaven Eyes. Is she a girl, is she a ghost? She could be either, she could be both.
As Skellig was set in the air, and Kit's Wilderness underground, David Almond's third novel is set on water. Like the River Tyne, the story ebbs and flows, and like the Tyne it is sometimes clear and sometimes mysteriously dark.
This is brilliant book, hard to categorise, mixing beautiful melancholy with shining hope and highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A won't-put-it-down-before-you-finesh book, 21 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Audio CD)
David Almond has a totally different way of writing than anyone else - I am a great fan of his style but I know many people are not - this book has many twists and turns and if you do not concentrate very hard you will get lost very easily! But if you are adevoted reader and a great fan you will love this if you are not sure then try a different book like Skellig first to get you used to him! Good luck !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. Fills you with wonder and enchantment., 10 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Paperback)
I loved this book, and couldn't put it down until I'd finished. I found it mystical and enchanting and would love to read more books by the same author. I think everyone just wants to escape sometimes, and by reading this you can be there with Erin, January and Mouse and share all the magic they encounter. I definately recommend it to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 5 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Heaven Eyes (Signature) (Paperback)
Enjoyed this story as it was different. Another brilliant read from David Almond!
This book is totally different to anything I've read before.
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Heaven Eyes (Signature)
Heaven Eyes (Signature) by David Almond (Paperback - 5 Dec. 2013)
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