There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday
|There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: 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.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: October 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
For eleven, Mouse is a little thing. He's also a dreamy thing. He spends a great deal of time in his own head, telling stories, playing with stuffed toys - you know the kind of thing. Also, he likes to sleep with the light on. Also, and this is a very important also, Mouse. Does. Not. Like. Christmas. He has a very good reason for this and it's all tied up with Dad, who doesn't live with Mouse, his mum and his sisters Violet and Esme any more.
And it's Christmas right now. Well, tomorrow, anyway. Mouse and his mum and sisters are on their way to visit their grandparents. It's snowing. Mum can barely see a thing as she drives through the valley. She loses control of the car and it crashes. Mouse is thrown into the snow. But when he wakes up, there is no car and no snow, just a strange sheep called Bar (because that's the noise it makes). Bar isn't the only fantastical character in Mouse's new world. There's Nonky - a horse made of sarcasm. A minstrel who just won't shut up. A shrinking dinosaur. And a very scary knight made of darkness. But there might, just might, be a castle. And Mouse knows that he must find it.
Back in the real world, older sister Violet is trying to save the day. Mum is bleeding and unconscious. Baby sister Esme is trapped in her car seat. And Mouse is missing. Violet will need all the skills of her pirate heroine Grainne O'Malley if she is to save the day.
Will Mouse and Violet each succeed in their quest and find each other again?
Oh. Oh, oh, oh. There May Be a Castle is such a beautiful story. It's funny and fantastical and dark and foreboding all at the same time. And it's a difficult one to review because all the points I want to make would also be spoilers. And I don't do spoilers. So how to describe it without ruining it? I have no idea. Why does Mouse need to find his castle? Because it's important that he does. I'll leave you to ponder that by yourself and just point out that it may well have something to do with what the castle might represent and how it might help him get back to his family.
This fable is all about the power of imagination and storytelling. It's about what is real and what is not and that real is not always something you can touch. Dare I say it? Home is where the heart is. But it's also about family dynamics, strength in adversity and being true to yourself. It's funny and off-beat and completely left field stuff and this story will make you laugh at the same time as it breaks your heart.
And that's all you're getting. Just read it!
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.
You might also enjoy Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, another difficult journey, told in an unforgettable way.
You can read more book reviews or buy There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday at Amazon.com.
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