Books

Top 5 children's books set on islands, selected by children's author Lucy Strange 

Waterstones Prize-shortlisted children's author Lucy Strange gives us her top five children's books set on islands

Image: Tom Winckels on Unsplash

Lighthouses, smuggling, wildlife, piracy – children’s books about islands have it all. Waterstones prize-shortlisted author Lucy Strange picks her favourite five.

The Secret of Golden Island by Natasha Farrant

One to look forward to as it’s published this August. A heartwarming story with all the charm and excitement of a classic children’s adventure. Golden Island has a wealth of wildlife, a magical look-out tower and a murky history of smuggling – oh, and there’s a competition to win it… 

The Witch-Stone Ghosts by Emily Randall-Jones  

This mysterious adventure unfolds on eerie Imber Island. It’s a place of strange songs, weird traditions and ancient secrets – which 12-year-old Autumn must investigate if she is to find out more about her father’s death.  

Featherlight by Peter Bunzl  

A gripping tale of courage with a magical twist. This accessible, dyslexia-friendly novella is set on a lonely lighthouse keeper’s island. Young Deryn must keep the light burning when her parents are forced to leave her on the island alone.  

Nation by Terry Pratchett  

Quite different from his Discworld novels, this brilliant standalone from Terry Pratchett is a beautiful coming-of-age story. Moving, philosophical and far-reaching, this YA story explores social hierarchy, religious faith and colonialism, all via Pratchett’s inimitable wisdom and wit. 

Song of the Far Isles by Nicholas Bowling 

This brilliantly warm, funny and exciting tale whisks us away on a seafaring adventure packed with piracy, music, folklore and friendship. Like me, I suspect Bowling has been captivated by the wild magic of Scotland’s most remote islands. 

The Island at the Edge of Night by Lucy Strange is out now (£7.99, Chicken House). You can buy or preorder these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine, which exists to give homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.
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