QBD Reviews: There May Be A Castle by Piers Torday

9781848668621A heartwarming middle grade story, There May be a Castle is full of adventure with knights, wizards, dragons, dinosaurs, a castle and a quest. A very enjoyable read, I loved it!

There May be a Castle focuses on eleven year old Mouse. Teased by family and friends for being so small, he was christened “Mouse” at a young age and the name stuck.

This novel takes place on Christmas Eve. It’s a white Christmas and Mouse’s mother has to drive through a blizzard to get Mouse and his two sisters to their grandparents’ house. An accident on the way sets Mouse off on an adventure to rescue his family.

Even though he is small Mouse proves himself to be very brave. Due to the trauma of the accident after being thrown clear of the car, Mouse keeps forgetting things and people. He knows something happened to him but can’t remember what or who was with him.

I loved how we had just enough information from alternate chapters to know what was happening to Mouse. We know that in previous years the family walked to their Grandparents’ house and what landmarks appeared on the way. Mouse uses these memories to help him find his way to the castle, even though he doesn’t remember clearly. He knows there’s a haunted forest, a dragon’s lair, a church graveyard and cairns to mark the way. The special toys he brought with him in the car keep him company and grow in his imagination to become real. In Mouse’s reality he is a knight travelling through a forest on his trusty steed Nonky, accompanied by Bar (the sheep that woke him) and Trex – chased by a fearsome nemesis The Pink Knight, a character from his favourite iPad app “Junior Joust”.

It is amazing what the human body can go through to survive and protect loved ones, also how our brains work to help in extreme situations. This reminded me a little of Gayle Forman’s young adult book If I Stay. Mouse physically goes on a journey to save himself and his family yet his mind plays tricks on him. A very emotional ending for both books, I was engaged all the way through.

~ Kerryn, QBD Northland