Reader Reviewed There May be a Castle by Piers Torday
  

There May be a Castle

Written by Piers Torday

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

November 2016 Book of the Month

In a nutshell: the unbeatable power of the imagination | Piers Torday’s beautifully written book is an extraordinary allegory, a story of courage and love, and of the life-affirming importance of stories. It’s Christmas Eve and Mouse, his sisters and mum are driving across the snowy moors to his grandparents’ house when their car plunges off the road. Thrown clear Mouse begins a journey for help, but as a knight in one of the fantasy stories that mean so much to him in real life. It’s an epic journey too, full of strange characters, friends and enemies alike, and despite the dreamlike atmosphere the reader is never in any doubt as to how dangerous it is, or how much depends on Mouse reaching the castle. Not many books change readers’ views of the world, this might be one of them. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Hannah Minton, age 10 - 'This book was fantastic.  I couldn't read it quick enough.'
  • Noah Scott-Sentence, age 9 - 'I enjoyed the book and thought it was clever and full of imagination.'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 11 - 'Very funny, adventurous and full of twists and turns but I think it needs a warning for sensitive children that the ending is very sad.'
  • Alice East, age 12 - 'There May Be a Castle is another great book written by Piers Torday.  This book is about the adventure and the journey Mouse goes on in a strange land.'
  • Oscar Smith, age 9 - 'A must have for all people looking for a good read!As two stories slowly weave into one it all leads up to a stunning conclusion.'
  • Alec del Pino, age 9 - 'A wonderfully strange book where it makes the reader turn the pages effortlessly. It is full of laughs, tears and cliffhangers...truly marvellous.'
  • Suhaiba Khan, age 8 - 'This is a book that made me imagine I was in a magical land and that I myself was on a quest to get to the castle with Mouse with lots of twist and turns. Once I started reading it I couldn’t stop.'
  • Daniel Bisland, age 9 - 'This book is about a boy called Mouse, his toy horse, his sisters and his mum...I give it 5*. I really liked the way that each chapter switched from Mouse to his family.'
  • Noah Hall, age 10 - 'I love this book as it really hooks you, is interesting and fun.  It is a brilliant mix of humour, adventure and sorrow.  I love the contrasting emotions it gives to the reader.'
  • Lauren Carver, age 10 - 'This is a hilarious book, my favourite character is Nonky, probably the best book I have ever read.  Piers should do a lot more books like it, he is my new favourite author.    '
  • Gonzalo Isidro, age 8 - 'I loved this book and just wanted to keep turning the pages. I think a lot of my class would like this book too. If you like magic you won't be disappointed.'
     

Synopsis

There May be a Castle by Piers Torday

Eleven-year-old Mouse is travelling to see his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother and two sisters. But it's snowing, and visibility is bad, and the car goes off the road, and crashes. Mouse 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. This is a novel about love and death. It's about the power of stories to change the way we view the world - and it's about the power of a child to change their own world.

Emotionally arresting but ultimately uplifting, this is a remarkable novel for our times.

Reviews

Praise for The Last Wild trilogy

Gripping, original and memorable Francesca Simon

Written in vivid and urgent style ... As thrilling as James and the Giant Peach ... The Last Wild may be as critical to the new generation as Tarka the Otter The Times

A must-read: brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl New York Post

An excellent, punchy adventure tale with vivid characters and an impassioned eco message Financial Times

Wildly inventive, moving and gripping ... full of suspense without ever sacrificing warmth The Guardian

A whimsical yet thoughtful tale that brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl and Norton Juster New York Post

Torday's story is alternately sombre, thrilling, and silly, filled with eccentric human and animal characters with distinctive voices Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Piers Torday

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. His next book for children, There May Be a Castle, was published in October 2016.

In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a reading helper with Beanstalk, a former judge on the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a Patron of Reading at Heathmere School and a trustee of the Pleasance Theatre.

Born in Northumberland, Piers now lives in London with his husband and hopefully a cat.

Piers Torday writes...

I was born in Northumberland, which is possibly the one part of England where more animals live than people, and spent my early years crawling around on the floor of the popular children’s bookshop that my mother ran.

The first book I can remember reading is Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. “Stop thief!”

I was a total bookworm and read everything I could lay my hands on, from Beatrix Potter to Babar, Moomintrolls to Hobbits. Some of my favourite books included Stig Of The Dump, The Land of Green Ginger and The Silver Sword.

I also loved comic books, especially all of Tintin and Asterix. So I tried to write one.

When I was 8, I won a cartoon competition in the local paper with my entry “Super Sid”, a comic strip about a superhero called Sid. Unfortunately his main super power was being called Sid, and so he didn’t last long.

My first proper story was written age 13, which starts – ‘Sam was a dog. And like most dogs, he was a detective.’

This should have led to a promising career in canine detective fiction but at school and university I became completely distracted by theatre & comedy, which is where I then started my working life - at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, producing plays and sketch shows, and occasionally writing them too.

I am very proud to still be a Trustee of the Pleasance Theatre, which gave me my first ever job, and every year gives hundreds of new writers, performers, producers and technicians their first break.

After that, I accidentally came up with a successful gameshow called Come and Have A Go If You Think You’re Smart Enough and moved into television. I still work in TV, developing programme ideas and occasionally being allowed to make them – including Argumental and DSF: Olivia Lee (Series 1 &2).

But deep down the thing I most wanted to do was write stories like the ones I grew up on, and after my Dad wrote his first book at the age of 60 - Salmon Fishing In The Yemen - I felt inspired. So I went on a marvellous Arvon Course at Ted Hughes’ old house in West Yorkshire. They were very encouraging – and I began to write a book.

That book eventually became The Last Wild, and I am currently writing the next installment in the story.

In between, I have just been trained as a Volunteer Reader by VRH and can’t wait to start helping children in my local London schools to enjoy books and stories like I did when I was younger.

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
320 pages

Author

Piers Torday
More books by Piers Torday

Author's Website

www.pierstorday.co.uk/

Publisher

Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group

Publication date

6th October 2016

ISBN

9781848668621

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