Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

There May Be a Castle

Written by Piers Torday

Adventure Stories Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Recommended Children's eBooks Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on There May Be a Castle

Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award

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


There May Be a Castle Synopsis

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.

There May Be a Castle 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.'

There May Be a Castle Press Reviews

Shows the power of imagination to help us conquer fear, and the importance of friends and family even if they are not physically present, or indeed are a toy horse and a robot dinosaur. An outstanding book and a future classic * School Librarian *

Piers the new master of books for children who like magic and modernity with their lust for adventure. * The Times *

It's an adventure set on the moors. It's very funny but the end was unexpectedly emotional and it stays with you * Ham & High *

A remarkable story of about love and loss from the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize * Hexham Courant *

The narrative is skillfully strung together and the ending deeply surprising, challenging the norms of what might be expected in a children's novel, which is all to the good. -- Philip Womack * Literary Review *

A magical new adventure from the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction prize. We're loving the cover illustration too by Rob Biddulph * WRD About Books *

A gripping, memorable adventure which celebrates the power and scope of our imagination * *

Mouse wakes up in a magical world complete with a full-sized version of his beloved toy horse * Scottish Daily Express *

A moving and very original children's book ... investigating the subject of love and loss in the way a child can understand * Hexham Courant *

Piers Torday continues to demonstrate that he is one of the best writers for children working today * The Guardian *

Piers Torday ... is the new master of books for children who like magic and modernity with their lust for adventure ... Torday understands the lot of the younger sibling, the power of the imagination to heal and the strong, irregular rhythms of grief * The Times *

A gripping, memorable adventure which celebrates the power and scope of our imagination * The School Run *

Original in its accurate representation of the actual experience of children and its satirical approach to the fantastical...this novel works emotional truth and tension into its adventure and comedy * The Sunday Times * Piers the new master of books for children who like magic and modernity with their lust for adventure. * The Times * Full marks [...] for a story not afraid to take on some of the fundamentals of life while still managing to preserve the lightest of touches * Books For Keeps * Heartbreaking, surprising, uplifting - Mouse's snowbound journey is one you'll remember for a long, long time. There May Be a Castle proves that stories matter. They really do * The Bookbag *

Torday's story is alternately sombre, thrilling, and silly, filled with eccentric human and animal characters with distinctive voices * Publishers Weekly on The Last Wild Trilogy *

A whimsical yet thoughtful tale that brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl and Norton Juster * New York Post on The Last Wild Trilogy *

Wildly inventive, moving and gripping ... full of suspense without ever sacrificing warmth * The Guardian on The Last Wild Trilogy *

An excellent, punchy adventure tale with vivid characters and an impassioned eco message * Financial Times on The Last Wild Trilogy *

A must-read: brings to mind the smarts and silliness of Roald Dahl * New York Post on The Last Wild trilogy *

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 on The Last Wild trilogy *

Gripping, original and memorable * Francesca Simon on The Last Wild trilogy *

If you loved this, you might like these...

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Slytherin Edition
Viper's Daughter
Tide of Terror
Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (and joined the library)

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784292744
Publication date: 05/10/2017
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781848668621
Publication date: 06/10/2016
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784292744
Publication date: 5th October 2017
Author: Piers Torday
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Other Categories: UKLA 2018

About 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 ...

More About Piers Torday

More Books By Piers Torday

Cover for The Lost Magician by Piers Torday
Cover for There May be a Castle by Piers Torday
Cover for The Dark Wild by Piers Torday
View All Books By Piers Torday

Share this book