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The Children of Castle Rock: Costa Award-Winning Author

The Children of Castle Rock: Costa Award-Winning Author by Natasha Farrant (Literary scout)

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By Natasha Farrant (Literary scout)

avg rating

38 reviews

St Trinians and Lauren St John collide in this hilarious and thrilling bestselling adventure from Natasha Farrant!

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.

‘Thrilling adventure.’ The Times

‘This wise and touching novel has originality and a fresh voice.’ Sunday Times

‘A gripping adventure . . . I stayed up all night reading it!’ Emma Carroll, author of Letters from the Lighthouse


12 Feb 2024

A fantastic adventure set in a magical location. The setting descriptions in this novel are superb and transport you to a whole new world of adventure.

18 Sep 2023

I adored this book.
I laughed out loud in places and loved the mystery as well.

06 Sep 2023

This book is about a girl called Alice who goes to a boarding school called Stormy Loch. But her father tells her to meet him on an uninhabited island during her orienteering challenge she has no idea she is being followed!!
My favourite character was Alice.
I would give this book 5 stars

25 Aug 2023

I thought it was very adventurous and I would recommend it to people who have started middle school a little bit like Alice.

14 Aug 2023

I recommend this book for children who like books with mysterys, criminals and crimes in it.

11 Aug 2023

Fun filed jam packed adventure

06 Aug 2023

Very exciting it’s about a group of friends you wouldn’t expect to be friends

05 Aug 2023

I like all the detailed parts of the book and it made me smile'

25 Jul 2023

My favourite character was Alice. I liked it because it was about an adventure. Yes I would recommend it to someone else.

24 Jul 2023

This was beautiful, thrilling and thought provoking all in one. The beauty of friendship and how we need connections with others, how when we trust others we unlock parts of ourselves that we may never have thought were there or possible. Again Natasha brings up connections with nature and how we should stop and take it in, the beauty all around us while taking us on a journey of the heart too. This was also adventurous and teaches that not all things we dream of are the things we need. Love conquers all and to love we have to be courageous. The story was exciting and kept me wanting to read, which I did very late into the night. The main characters felt like friends by the end and I loved the journey the made together.
Also loved the headteacher of the school. This book is really lovely and if you love nature and the fight for friendship and how to overcome hurt by trusting others then read this masterpiece.
It will stay with you for a long while.

27 Oct 2022

This was a really good book! It was really gripping and it was written really well! There were loads of twists and turns in the story and it was full of adventure! I would definitely recommend this book!

15 Aug 2022

I loved this book. Gripping storytelling, relatable (diverse) characters and a heartwarming ending.

08 Aug 2022

It was a very exiting book that I recommend to someone who likes adventure

07 Aug 2022

It was really interesting but at the start I didn’t know who was talking

21 Jul 2022

Amazing book, super story! I really enjoy Natasha Farrant books.

17 Aug 2021

I loved this book so much! The writing style seemed really familiar so I checked back and realised I had read another book by the same author, Lydia The Wild Girl of Pride and Pejudice which I read and gifted to my old school library a few years ago. It is a book I still think back to as it was such a joy to read!

Anyway, aside from wanting to read all the other books by this author now, what did I think of this one? I really loved the way it was written, most chapters began or concluded by the author talking directly to the reader, which for some reason reminded me of AA Milne, although I couldn't say why.

The story has an unlikely heroine, who develops a deep friendship with two boys which didn't lead to romance, but to genuine respect and love. The school was fantastically bohemian, I wish I could have gone to school there (although I probably couldn't work there...!). I loved the affable head teacher whose wisdom was tempered with his affection for a herd of feral kittens. And I wouldn't have expected anything less than a crazy cat man being in charge of the school of my dreams!

I really hope this will be a series...

13 Aug 2021

In this book my favourite characters were Alice,Fergus and Madoc. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and mystery!

11 Aug 2021

I thought this was a detailed and interesting book. It had lots of questions and secrets. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and teamwork stories.

08 Aug 2021

This book was interesting but I found it rather hard to follow.

06 Aug 2021

I decided to read this book as it had a positive review by Emma Carroll on it. I like her books so thought I’d enjoy this too. I am also in Scotland at the moment and that’s where it’s set.

Alice is sent to boarding school in Scotland. She doesn’t want to be there. She meets Jesse on the train and Fergus when she starts school and bit by bit starts to enjoy herself. But then her father sends her a mysterious package...

I think lots of children would enjoy this story, especially more able year 4’s up to UKS2. Lots of adventures for the 3 children.

05 Jul 2021

Excellent id recommend it to teens

04 Dec 2020

Fantastic! This is a very thrilling adventure tale!

22 Nov 2020


25 Aug 2020

I really like this book because the 3 children (Alice, Fergus and Jesse) go on an adventure to meet Alice's dad. My favourite character is Jesse because he is like me!!!!!! :):) Children age 9-14 will love this book.

25 Aug 2020

This book is incredible!! It is a great adventure story with lots of funny parts to it. I loved this book loads, and will happily read it another 10 times!! I would recommend this book for people age 10-14. It also shows how close people can get as friends when they go on an adventure.

18 Aug 2020

I liked this book a lot and i could not stop reading it it took me two days to read it. This book fiction . My favourite person is Alice . The reason why i choose Alice is because she is kind caring loving and encouraging . I picked up this book the same time i picked the phantom lollipop man . I would recommend this book to confident readers . this book is about a girl called Alice and she moves houses then her Aunt sent her to boarding school . Will she make friends or even cope at this boarding school . Or will she turn it into one of her stories???

03 Aug 2020

My favourite character was Alice

The best part was when they got to the island of Nish

29 Jan 2020


28 Aug 2019

Alice has had to go to a boarding school where she doesn't even know what is to come.Her adventure begins with meeting rule obeying Jesse, who shows her the way to the school.Once they get to the school,they meet Furgus who is really clever but loves making mischief.One day a strange package arrives for Alice...I love the book.Full of adventure, friendship and betrayal.Recommend to anyone from 7 to 14.

26 Aug 2019

Alice and Fergus areally my favorite people in the book.Interesting , would recommend.

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