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Our Castle By the Sea

Our Castle by the Sea

Published: 3 Jan 2019

Paperback / softback, 336 pages

Recommended for age 9+ and 11+

By Lucy Strange

Published by Chicken House Ltd

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RRP £6.99
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This book features in the Upper KS2 Lake of Long Ago collection which is part of The Reading Journey

England is at war. Growing up in a lighthouse, eleven-year old Pet's world has been one of storms, secret tunnels and stories about sea monsters. But now the clifftops are a terrifying battleground, and her family is torn apart ...

Tagged First World War , lighthouses and war and conflict

Lucy Strange dropped by the Reading Corner to tell us about her mysterious ghostly romance set at the turn of the Twentieth century in the atmospheric Lake District. Listen in and discover the secrets behind The Ghost of Gosswater.

Reviewed by

Our Castle by the Sea is about a family being torn apart amid rumours of espionage whilst enemy planes fly overhead.

Having loved Lucy’s first book, I was excited to see that she had written a new title set on the Kent coast during the Second World War.

Petra lives in a lighthouse with her elder sister, Magda, her lighthouse-keeper father and her mutti. Pet’s world has always been one of secret tunnels, mysteries and storms, but once war is declared, things get worse as her German mother is accused of spying and kept in an internment camp. Meanwhile, her father also seems to be keeping secrets and her sister’s growing distant.

I would recommend Our Castle by the Sea to use in the classroom as it looks at the Second World War from the perspective of a normal family, living on the Home Front, rather than being focussed on the battlefield.  It includes lots of accurate historical details and beautiful language, all whilst being steeped in the myth of ‘The Four Sisters’ guarding the lighthouse and ‘the wyrm’ waiting in Dragon Bay to devour lost ships. Poetic, haunting and unforgettable I can imagine older junior children getting drawn into this tale of espionage and fierce familial love.