Archive | Quercus RSS feed for this section

There May be a Castle – Piers Torday

6 Dec

This is a beautiful book for snuggling up with on a wintery day. A wonderful celebration of the power of imagination and storytelling, There May be a Castle by Piers Torday is warm and funny and has the feel of an old friend and a future classic.


‘Eleven-year-old Mouse is travelling to see his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother and two sisters.┬áBut it’s snowing, and visibility is bad, and the car goes off the road, and crashes.┬áMouse is thrown from the car. When he wakes, he’s not in his world any more. He meets a sheep named Bar, who can only say Baaa, and a sarcastic horse named Nonky, who is a surprising mix of his beloved toy horse and his older sister.

So begins a quest to find a castle in a world of wonder – a world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known. But why are they looking for a castle? As the cold grows, we realise it might just have something to do with the family he’s left behind; and that Mouse’s quest is more important than ever.’

I particularly enjoyed the mix of humour and nods to the crazy political world we live in where education has become all about endless testing and form-filling. I also want to raise a glass to the design – it’s just beautiful. Bravo to Rob Biddulph and Nicola Theobald.

One word of warning; there is a small section near the beginning of the book that mentions the non-existence of a certain festive someone. Possibly not the best book to give to a newly-doubting child. But, saying that, probably a helpful book for those newly-knowing.

This is a book I will pull out again and again at this time of year and I fully expect it to become a firm favourite in many homes.

Source – kindly sent for review by the publisher, Quercus Children’s Books

In the Dark, in the Woods by Eliza Wass – YA

26 Apr

  

 ‘Father wants sixteen-year-old Castley and her five siblings to hide from the world. Living in a falling-down house deep in the woods, he wants to bury their secrets where noone will ever find them. Father says they are destined to be together forever. In heaven. Father says the sooner they get there, the better. But Castley wants to be normal. She wants to kiss boys and wear jean shorts. CASTLEY WANTS TO LIVE.’

When Louise O’Neill says a book is ‘one of the best books I’ve read this year’ then you read it. Fact. And oh, this book! If I was highlighting perfect sentences then every page would be yellow. Eliza Wass’s writing reminds me of Flannery O’Connor’s in that it has such depth. Every sentence is layered with meaning and revelations. 

Wass has beautifully depicted the confusion and angst of a teenager trying to find the strength to be herself and find her place in the world. This book sings to the insecure teenager in all of us. 

A debut author to watch. I can’t wait for her next book. 

I loved it. Can you tell? 

You can get your copy here.

Source – kindly sent for review by Quercus Children’s Books