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Stig of the Dump by Clive King

Updated on June 12, 2015

Stig of the Dump by Clive King is 50!

Hard to believe that a book that my father bought me when I was a child is now 50 years old and it has certainly stood the test of time. I still have Stig of the Dump and I gave it in turn to my son. We loved reading it together and it brought back wonderful memories for me. Sadly, my son never met his Grandfather.

So what makes Stig so special? The story is simple - a boy, Barney, meets a caveman who has made his home in a disused chalk pit, and for Barney the friendship that he finds with Stig represents a shelter from the reality of his world.

This classic children's book has never been out of print since it was first published 50 years ago showing just how popular and successful it has been.

The story begins when Barney goes to play in one of those no-mans-land places that used to exist in semi-rural communities - an old chalk pit that was being used as a dump, and in this dump Barney discovers a caveman.

The caveman can't talk but he can communicate and he is amazingly talented when it comes to DIY. The dump, of course, is a rich source of material from which Stig fashions all manner of things. What a wonderful friend for an eight year old boy!

But this tale, like many children's stories, has a darker side. The amazing 'home' that Stig built and the ideal playground that Barney had found was spoiled and threatened the Snargets, menacing vandals that caused damage and heartache.

How did Stig arrive in the dump? More to the point, how is he to return to his own time? Find out how Barney and Stig work together to capture the magic that will take Stig home.

Who is Clive King

Well,author of stig, of course. But is there more to Clive King?

David Clive King was born in 1924 in Richmond, London, but he was brought up in Ash, Kent. King maintains that it was the very ordinary nature of Ash (boring in his own words) that led to his children's book, Stig of the Dump.

King began writing as a child first book, but his first book, Hamid of Aleppo, was published in 1958. He also wrote two other books for children, The Town That Went South in 1959 and The 22 Letters in 1966). He decided to write full-time in 1973.

His non-writing career was varied and rich. He served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, worked for the British Council, often overseas. In 1966 he went to the London School of Oriental and African Studies and worked as an Education Adviser in Dhaka.

Stig of the Dump is a modern classic

My son reading Stig
My son reading Stig | Source

I Passed My Copy of Stig of the Dump on to My Son

My father made a wonderful choice of book for me. My copy was published in 1963, I read it and loved it, I read it again to my son when he was small, and now he's a great big teen boy, he reads it himself. The magic of a great classic story for kids never dies.

Stig of the Dump Wins International Emmy Award 2002

Best children's Drama

From a great book into a great film. I think the very best children's books have strong, simple story lines full of action and cliff-hangers and they have very strong characters and vivid images. All this means that the film of the book turns out to be a winner too. Read the book first though.

Take a peek at this film version of Stig

I Loved These Classic Stories for Kids Too

Books like Stig, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Borrowers and Skelig make childhood really special. They are also all books that you will enjoy reading too so that bedtime story becomes something that both you and your child will look forward to all day. I can still remember the books of my childhood and the wonderful stories live on in my mind. What a wonderful gift to give to any child.

© 2013 Barbara Walton

Did You Love Stig as a Child? Leave me your thoughts on Stig of the Dump

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

      @Brite-Ideas: I do think it's a lovely story and full of all that quirkiness that kids love.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

      @davenjilli lm: An oldie but a goodie, davenjilli. I hope you and the kids like it.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

      @Babu Mohan: Yes, oh-man, it was a great gift and it has stood the test of time. Thanks for leaving a message.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I was going to say they should make a show of this, and then as I scroll down, there it is! Thanks for this, I'll have to remember this one as a gift

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 3 years ago

      always looking for good books for the kids

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      There is magic in any vintage stuff, more so with books. It is all the more special since it was gifted by your dad.