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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars24
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2000
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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on 7 February 2008
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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on 4 April 2000
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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on 22 August 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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on 23 August 2001
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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on 11 March 2001
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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on 26 August 2014
This is a well crafted story and for me, totally believable . Harry's experiences following his family home being destroyed during an air raid when his family were killed are well described without sentimentality . The ending was quite unexpected.
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on 8 April 2016
This is an excellent book following the adventures of a boy travelling alone up the north east coast of England having been bombed out of his home and losing his family. The author weaves some interesting social history into the story but it is the boy himself who really captures the reader's interest as he steadily becomes more independent and confident, learning from the experiences he has and the people he meets. The language is beautiful, drawing the reader in with vivid descriptions that appeal to all the senses. The book has many themes loss, survival, relationships, nature and all are dealt with sensitively and wisely. The ending leaves the reader emotionally torn. A wonderful and thought provoking read.
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on 21 September 2015
Fantastic read. It felt like you were there with the lad when his home got bombed. He ran away rather than be sent away, then joined up with a German Shepherd Dog. It follows their adventures and the nice (and not so nice) people they met whilst living rough. Good ending too. This book was purchased for my 12 year old grandchild, but adults who like a nice uncomplicated read will like it just as much. This is the second book by Robert W I've read. The other, Yaxleys Cat, was very different and I couldn't put it down. He is my new favourite author and I am looking forward to reading many more.
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on 10 June 2014
I read this book I think in primary school and was having trouble finding a book to read one evening on the Kindle and came across this and thought what the hell will give it another go 25 years later.

The book read just as well as a adult as it did when I was a child it is very well written and ok it's certainly not taxing to read it is definitely beautifully written and has plenty of highs and lows to keep anyone gripped.

I can't imagine anyone not liking this book as it is such a good story and so well written and not just for kids / teens.
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