|Our castle by the sea|
Author: Strange, Lucy
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. Follow-up to The secret of Nightingale Wood, set in the stark reality of World War II.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.80
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 502140
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 76475
School Library Journal (00/04/19)
Booklist (+) (03/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/19)
The Hornbook (00/05/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2019 *Starred Review* It’s 1939, and the English coastal community where 12-year-old Pet lives has turned suspicious and hostile toward Mutti, her German-born mother, who moved to England in 1924 and married Pa, the lighthouse keeper. A tribunal sends Mutti to an internment camp as an enemy alien, leaving Pet, her older sister, Magda, and their father bereft. Meanwhile, a German plane has crashed into a nearby field, a traitorous local is cutting phone lines, and Magda is clearly hiding something from her family. Pet plans to uncover her sister’s secret and also to prove her mother’s innocence. When small boats are needed to rescue English troops at Dunkirk, Pa and Magda answer the call, but only one returns. Loss follows loss, but eventually the tide turns. A plot summary can only hint at the satisfaction of reading this tightly woven story with its haunting setting and memorable characters. Pet grows from a frightened child to a fiercely determined and ultimately brave individual who channels her anger with intelligence and figures out whom to trust in her suddenly dangerous world. The author of The Secret of Nightingale Wood (2017), Strange uses metaphor deftly and creates chapter endings that leave readers wanting more. A richly atmospheric historical novel. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2019 Gr 5–8-Myth and the grim reality of World War II combine in Petra's reality. Petra, older sister Magda, Pa, and Mutti live in a southern England coastal community in 1939, where they serve as the keepers of the lighthouse. Petra is paralyzed with fear over the legend of the standing stones below the lighthouse, believed to be four daughters who turned to stone singing their fathers' boat away from the treachery of the Wyrm sandbar on the beach. Pet faces her own demons as her mother's German heritage causes her to be taken to an internment camp, and her father and Mag's suspicious activities have Petra wondering if anyone can be taken at face value on the eve of the Dunkirk evacuation. Citizen suspicion as well as the sea itself act as secondary characters as Petra balances fear, bravery, and love in a dramatic final scene. Readers who enjoyed Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War That Saved My Life will appreciate this read-alike. Strange's writing employs poetic language that creates vivid pictures of clouds, sea, and loss. The first-person narration keeps readers firmly in Petra's young world view as do her equal flashes of bravery and helplessness in the face of adult interference in her family unit. The heartstopping revelations of the German spy ring end the story on a high note, balancing Strange's more contemplative lyricism. VERDICT Superlative writing and sneaky spycraft make this World War II story appealing to most readers and libraries.-Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.