This is the prequel to Skellig, a book I read earlier and did a review on.
Mina is home educated, and the book is her journal. She tells stories about what happen in her life. One is about when she went to school. There is another one about SAT's day which is the day she left school because she didn't fit in. On SAT's day she wrote a page of nonsense. There is another story about when she ran off from school at lunchtime, so that she could go to the underworld and bring back her dad from the dead. Mina also wrote about her dreams, she had two dreams that she wrote about. One was written more as a poem and the other was an account of the whole dream. The author, David Almond was very clever, because he wrote the book as Mina speaking in the first person for the journal sections but when Mina tells the stories of the underworld and school, and all the other stories he wrote them as Mina writing them in the third person.
I enjoyed this story because it's different, in other stories the characters don't home educate. Mina is different from other characters because she has a free mind and she gives her opinions and she says everything she feels. Mina thinks that she is weird, but in my opinion I think that writing a journal helps her deal with her father's death. Mina like's being weird and everyone thinks she is weird because she is different to them because she has a free spirit and thinks out loud. I would like to be friends with Mina, she knows how other people are feeling and is really thoughtful. She could tell that her teacher was having a hard time on the day of the SATs because all her buttons were done up wrong and her hair was a mess. She wanted to give her a hug, but she didn't. I'd recommend this book to eight and upwards because a younger age I don't think would understand it.