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Our Castle by the Sea (Hardcover)

In Stock at Kepler's Now
2 on hand, as of Jan 19 12:03pm

Staff Reviews

One of my favorite writers, this book blends Lucy Strange's lyrical, poetic prose with burning questions, spies, prisoners, and sabotage. The book opens with the most enchanting and spooky tale of the four large rocks jutting out of the cliff and a sea monster below. Internet friends, if you were in the store that first page alone would have you sold on reading this. Alas, here we are & you are still reading. Let me set the scene: a foggy, brisk life being the lighthouse keeper's daughter.  It's the late 1930's and 12 year old Pet watches as the threat of invasion floods the town's worries. The first line of defense between Britain and occupied France is her father's lighthouse and it is revealed there is a spy among the citizens, everyone turns to Pet's German mother. Can Pet find and expose the spy and free her mother in time? Or will her family slowly separate further north into Britain like the hundreds of other families living on the coastline. -- Caitlin

— From Staff Favorites - Middle Grade


In this haunting and compelling follow-up to the instant classic The Secret of Nightingale Wood. Lucy Strange takes a seafaring myth and grounds it in the stark reality of World War II.

* "A plot summary can only hint at the satisfaction of reading this tightly interwoven story with its haunting setting and memorable characters." -Booklist (starred review)

Growing up in a lighthouse, 11-year-old Pet's world has been one of storms, secret tunnels, and stories about sea monsters. But now the country is at war and the clifftops are a terrifying battleground. Pet will need to muster all her bravery to uncover why her family is being torn apart.

This is the story of a girl who is afraid and unnoticed. A girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overheard. A girl who is somehow destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone.

About the Author

Lucy Strange worked as an actor, singer, and storyteller before becoming a secondary school English teacher. She lives in Kent, England. The Secret of Nightingale Wood is her first novel.

Praise For…

Praise for Our Castle by the Sea

* "A plot summary can only hint at the satisfaction of reading this tightly interwoven story with its haunting setting and memorable characters." -- Booklist (starred review)

* "Strange seamlessly blends a local legend of four girls turned into ancient standing stones on the lighthouse's clifftop into a larger story...A standout historical novel with a memorable protagonist, strongly sketched setting, and a compelling, twisty plot." -- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

* "Lucy Strange's second middle-grade work features elegant prose and an enchanting protagonist. Pet is earnest and unwavering, and the "small, mousy, and unimportant" girl at the beginning of the story is quite different from the strong young woman who emerges by the end... This haunting, historical novel is sure to touch young readers' hearts." -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"The slow dismantling of Petra's faith in her loved ones adds a delicious instability to the growing unease of this WWII thriller. -- Kirkus

"[Lucy Strange] gives us a real sense of how war and other people's suspicions can be contagious and fracture the strongest family unit." -- The Times (UK)

Praise for The Secret of Nightingale Wood:

A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of the Year
A BookPage Best Children's Book of the Year
An Amazon Top 20 Best Children's Book of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Telegraph Top 50 Book of the Year
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year

* "In an imaginative, compelling first-person narration, Henry wraps her story in fairy tales, exposing her guilt, grief, isolation, and fear as she unravels the stunning secrets of Nightingale Wood. An evocative, beautifully written, mesmerizing debut tale with lush fairy-tale themes and a poignant exploration of mental illness-enthralling." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Compelling...Strange effectively weaves in fairy tales, poetry, and themes common to classic children's literature, reflecting Hen's love of books. A brave heroine propels this strong and richly layered novel, a memorable portrait of grief, resilience, and rebirth." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Strange tells a lovely, extraordinarily enchanting coming-of-age tale." - Shelf Awareness, starred review

"From the first page, I was entirely smitten and compelled to read on until I finished this mysterious and poignant story." - Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Echo and Esperanza Rising

"This is a haunting gothic tale of love, courage, healing, and family." - School Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781338353853
ISBN-10: 1338353853
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: April 30th, 2019
Pages: 336