The Kingdom by the Sea

Robert Westall, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (175p) ISBN 978-0-374-34205-0
Harry is safe in the backyard shelter when German bombs flatten his family's house. Numb and disoriented, he evades the authorities and makes his way to the beach, where he is befriended by Don, a stray dog. Together the boy and his new companion leave town and travel up the coast toward the holy island of Lindisfarne. Along the way the pair comes in contact with several remarkably kind people, some equally cruel ones and a few genuine eccentrics. At odds with the otherwise genial storytelling are scenes in which a sadistic homosexual corporal attempts to molest Harry. Here the author perpetuates an ugly, misguided stereotype by implying that the corporal's brutal behavior is part and parcel of his sexual preference. This flaw aside, much of the novel pleasantly blends the period details and high adventure typical of Westall's other World War II novels. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 175 pages - 978-0-374-44060-2
Hardcover - 247 pages - 978-1-56054-688-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7857-0300-6
Prebound-Sewn - 175 pages - 978-0-606-05395-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-2445-2
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-00-730141-6
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