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The Kingdom by the Sea (Essential Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Robert Westall
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 May 2009 Essential Modern Classics

Guaradian award winning novel about courage, friendship and war. Reissued into the Essential Modern Classic list.

When a bomb during an air raid destroys Harry's home and kills his family, he knows that he is all alone in the world and has only himself to rely on. Anxious that he will be sent to live with his fussy Cousin Elsie he goes on the run across the war-battered land of North East England, his only friend in his journey a stray dog that he meets on the beach. Will Harry ever find a place to call home again, or will he be on the run forever?

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The Kingdom by the Sea (Essential Modern Classics) + Blitzcat + The Machine Gunners
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007301413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007301416
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Westall was born October 1929, in Tynemouth, England. His first book, The Machine Gunners, was published in 1975, for which he won the Carnegie Medal. Amongst many more prizes and accolades, he won the Carnegie for the second time in 1980, with The Scarecrows. He died in 1993.

Product Description


‘Sympathetically read by Steven Mackintosh who gives it a strong sense of place with his use of mild Tyneside accents.’ Books for Keeps

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Harry is an old hand at air-raids – but that night, although he survives the bombing, his home and his parents are gone. He can’t bear the thought of being landed with strange relatives, so he goes away to where nobody knows him.

And so begins an incredible journey. Harry makes friends with Don the dog – bombed-out like himself. They make a home on the beach and learn to survive in their Kingdom. But there is one last battle in store for Harry – one that he is not prepared for…

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is a stunning tale of survival. After his family disappears as a consequence of a German bombing raid, Harry Baguley is alone and has to fend for himself. Together with his faithful dog Don, Harry journeys around England and in the process, he learns all about human nature's unpredictability. He has encounters with many people and he gains invaluable knowledge from each.He experiences touching acts of kindness, meets weirdos who teach him knowledge about the sea, meets weary soldiers whom he talks and befriends and also those who will try to harm him. In the end, after he meets Mr Murgatroyd, his life takes a dramatic twist in the end. A compelling book which is very powerful indeed. Harry meets all kinds of people and his experiences with them are unforgettable. I recommend this book strongly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this book is really good. 4 April 2000
By A Customer
I is about a boy called harry,and Harry survives but his parents, his home, are gone.He can't bear the thought of being given to cousine Elsie, who would make such a fuss - so he goes away, where nobody knows him. So begins an incrediblejourney. Harry is alone except for Don the dog , bombed out like himself whom he finds on the beach. Harry is is a survivor, but there is one last conflict that he is not prepared for.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it 23 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This is the story of a young boy, his family killed in an air raid, who is forced to live on the streets with his dog and experience the harsh world of war-ridden Britain. No food, no money, no possessions except the clothes on his back - he has nothing to live on and no relatives to turn to.
This is beautifully written, fast paced and action packed with a genuinely surprising, really tragic ending - nowhere near cheesy - just pure, unsentimental tragedy that will burn the story into your memory where it will remain for a long, long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Occam
I read this book when I was 13 at school and now I'm 28 and still reading it now. I love the pure adventure/misfortune/historic/geographical story and it sends my mind into a distant place. I used to live in Northumberland and every place Harry visited so did I, Blythe, Newbiggin by the Sea, Amble (pill box is still there), Lindesfarne, Holy Island (the safe huts are still there too and used) etc. I also know Tynemouth, South Shields very well indeed. I come from a military family and many of which fought in both world wars and lived to tell the tale. But with this book it brings the colour of civilian struggle to survive and we did. I empathise with Harry and his sheer willingness to get on with it and be strong and to learn without being pompous.
Great book, great author 100%
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book... 22 Aug 2007
This is truely a great story. I read it from start to finish in day and a half. The characters are vivid and beautifully drawn, as is the journey of a lad and a stray dog along the Northumberland coastline during World War 2. There is real depth in this story and you sense that Westall wants us to know that your life is your life and that it is very important. What is impressive about this book is that it is sensitive without being sentimental, and that it reveals the bitter sweetness of life. Kingdom By the Sea is probably aimed at 12 years old, but it will resonate with any adult. You really should read this. Utterly wonderful.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is brilliant! 11 Mar 2001
By A Customer
If you enjoy stories about the 2nd World War which focus on the lives of the innocent British public during the war, then this book is for you! It's all about a 12 year old boy, Harry, who lives in North England, and his fight for survival in the war after his home is bombed. It's emotional and realistic and I loved it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great epic 14 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
constantly surprising, never patronising. a teen novel with some challenging themes. a real gem for 12 to 14 year olds
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Westall 1 Oct 2013
By Suchea
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hope Robert Westall comes back into fashion soon. I love these books. This is a WW2 story of a boy whose family home is destroyed in the blitz wandering up the Northumbria coast with an equally lost dog as his companion. The story interweaves with the people he meets on the way, friends and enemies, many with tragedies of their own. Lovely book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars None
a good fart never lies to his home is the moral of these stoory blad. innit dough. two fat bums.
Published 15 months ago by paul pardoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!!
As a trainee teacher in English Literature, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was hooked from beginning to end and found it near impossible to put the book down each time I opened... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Brighton Babe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great one to buy
Received it in a great condition. Like the product in the price I have bought it with no postage price.
Published on 11 Sep 2011 by Rudi
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books about World War II for children
In this book Westall draws on his childhood experiences during World War II. Harry has just made the run down his garden from his house in Newcastle to the bomb shelter at the... Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2010 by Jo Bennie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kingdon by the Sea Book
Good condition, as described, arrived quickly.
Book is a lovely read for young teenagers, combines the second world war and a journey of self discovery. Read more
Published on 20 May 2009 by S. J. Hyde
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful
Possably the worst book i've ever read. Predictable, boring and just simply awful. Don't waste your time reading it, read one of westall's better e.g. "The Machine Gunners".
Published on 25 Nov 2008 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars My Childhood Faviourite
I used to think every day in my 2nd yr of Senior SKOOL, can't wait till i get till English cos i cos yet another hour or half of Kindgom by the Sea and i still love this book and i... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2002 by James Burns
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