The Children of Castle Rock
When the only home eleven-year-old Alice Mistlethwaite has ever known is sold and she's shipped off to boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, Alice is not happy. Banished by her cruel witch of an aunt, Alice is sure her wonderful actor father, Barney, will come and rescue her from being force-fed midnight feasts and possible petrification by a wizard. But Stormy Loch Academy is not what she expects, in fact nothing is what she expects, and soon Alice and her friends Jesse and Fergus are in a race for their lives and a race to save her dad Barney.
Full of twists and turns, this is a great adventure story in which the world is not always what you think it is. Friendship and betrayal are major themes - how and why should you trust others? Are you yourself trustworthy? At what point should you let someone go?
With some definite nods to Hogwarts, it's also great fun and would be an excellent readaloud - especially with its leading narrative voice giving hints of what's to come. Don't let your boys miss out on this because the main character is a girl - they will love it if they give it a go. And it will definitely make you want to head out camping or orienteering - even in the midst of a storm. An exciting read for 8-12 year-olds.
When Alice Mistlethwaite is shipped off to boarding school in Scotland it's nothing like she imagines. Run by the mysterious Major, there are no punishments and the students are more likely to be taught about body painting or extreme survival than maths or English!
Then Alice's dad goes missing and she must run away to find him. Can she persuade her new friends to help?
So begins an epic quest across wild Scottish highlands and islands, where friendships will be made and broken, lies will be untangled and the children will face danger and excitement at every turn.
Both hilarious and heartfelt, this is the classic adventure story brought bang up to date, and told in Natasha's inimitable voice.
St Trinians and Lauren St John collide in this hilarious and thrilling new standalone from Natasha Farrant.
Natasha Farrant was shortlisted for the Queen of Teen Award 2014, and the second Bluebell Gadbsy book, Flora in Love, was longlisted for the Guardian Children's Prize, while the third, All About Pumpkin, was WHSmith Book of the Month. Natasha is the author of the Carnegie-longlisted and Branford Boase-shortlisted YA historical novel The Things We Did For Love. She lives in London with her family.