There May be a Castle by Piers Torday
Quercus Children’s Books 292 pages, $26.99 Age 10+
A young boy sets out on a magical adventure on Christmas Eve. Set in a magical world sort of, this layered and complex work won the Guardian Children’s literary award. It is about a boy called Mouse, because he is small and dreamy, often away in his own world, and not very successful in everyday things. On Christmas Eve his mother takes him and his two sisters on a drive to his grandparents’ house to spend Xmas together. On the way the car has an accident and Mouse is catapulted into a different world, where his favourite toys are real although different from what he expected. He is on a quest to reach the castle, accompanied by a sheep and a bossy horse. He meets minstrels, wizards, and dinosaurs but the big horror is the giant Pink Knight who is pursuing him. It is all very surreal, very gripping. It is also very funny but touching as well. The ending is stunning. I do wish that this book had been illustrated and that may happen in a future edition.