Annal: 1991 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Results of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in the year 1991.

Book:The Kingdom by the Sea

The Kingdom by the Sea

Robert Westall

Harry's family are running to the shelter when the bomb hits. As the rescue team pull him alone out of the rubble, Harry realises he'll be sent off to live with moping, fussy Cousin Elsie - the last thing he needs on top of the shock of losing his family. He runs away, meeting Don, a dog who's also lost his home, on the beach. In wartime every step is full of danger. Getting a meal, sleeping in a haystack - everywhere Harry goes he finds people full of suspicion, ready to turn in a boy on his own. But Harry encounters sudden kindnesses too. A family have left a caravan open, filled with tinned food for anyone who needs shelter. They all died when a bomb hit their home, but they help Harry when he needs it most. Joining eccentric Joseph Keilty by the sea, Harry learns to scavenge along the beach and makes friends with some nearby soldiers, until once more he is driven on alone.

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