We promised you a review of January's Independent Bookseller's Children's Book of the Month, Our Castle by the Sea, and here we are, delivering on that promise.

Rating: 5/5.

General vibe: Earnest.

Would recommend?: Absolutely.

"Our Children’s Book of the Month titles are chosen by a panel of independent booksellers, from a range of new children’s titles submitted by publishers. It will give one new children’s book the opportunity of focused promotion in independent bookshops across the country each month." - Booksellers Association.

We're very excited to be promoting new Children's books in our shop, as it is important to us to encourage a love of reading in children and to help further the sales of Children's literature.

With that in mind, we thought we'd review each month's choice here on our blog, to give you a little encouragement to read the brilliant titles selected.


Some of you may be familiar with the writing of Lucy Strange, her first novel, Secret of Nightingale Wood, was just as well-written as this new read. Like Nightingale Wood, Our Castle by the Sea is written in the past. Set during the second world war, Our Castle by the Sea is the tale of the effect of the war on a beloved home and the disruption of a happy childhood.

The book's narrator is Pet, a 12 year old who lives in a lighthouse on the edge of the cliff. Pet lives with her older sister, the "fiery" Mags, and her parents, who she affectionately calls "Mutti and Pa".

We learn of the relationship that Pet has with the people around her, and most importantly the relationship that she has to her home, and how her world is changed by the war that rages around her.

As well as the interesting take on the loss of innocence, the story also has magical undertones, that build throughout in keeping with the way that Pet's world is changing.

The story provides so much for the reader to enjoy; emotion and adventure and magic and much more, which makes diving into its pages an irresistible feat. It certainly gets a five star rating from us!

-By Emma Bilsborough, Sales and Marketing Coordinator