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Children's books set in Cornwall

Midnight Pirates

Cornwall is a brilliant setting for all sorts of stories, with that dramatic coastline and windswept moor.

Then you've got all those myths and legends associated with the area: tales of pirates and mermaids and ghostly galleons.

If you live in or are from Cornwall (or just going on your holidays), you may be looking for books set there to share with your child. After all, a familiar location can help them relate to the story and feel a bigger connection.

Here are just a few of our favourites for you to check out.

  • Deep Water

    Author: Lu Hersey
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Hugely evocative of the romantic and wild Cornish landscape, this modern retelling of the selkie myth is a magical and beautiful story about coming of age, transformation and belonging.

  • One Silver Summer

    Author: Rachel Hickman
    Publisher: Old Barn Books
    Interest age: 11-15
    Reading age: 11+

    Set in the dramatic landscape of wild Cornwall, this 21st-century take on first love stars a prince, a grief-stricken girl, beautiful, brave horses and a desperate pack of journalists who will stop at nothing to get their story. Contemporary but timeless.

  • Over Sea, Under Stone

    Author: Susan Cooper
    Publisher: Red Fox
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 10+

    On holiday in Cornwall, Simon, Jane and Barney discover an ancient map in the attic of the Grey House, where they are staying with their much-loved but mysterious Great Uncle Merry.

  • Dead Man's Cove

    Author: Lauren St John
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    When mysterious uncle Calvin rescues Laura Marlin from her gloomy life in an orphanage, she can't believe her luck! But she soon realises that her Cornish paradise is full of mysteries...

  • Ingo

    Author: Helen Dunmore
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    In Cornish legend, the Zenor mermaid fell in love with Mathew Trewhella and enticed him away to live in the sea with her forever...

  • Midnight Pirates

    Author: Ally Kennen
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    Three children take on the running of a secluded Cornish guest-house and soon find themselves in danger in this contemporary adventure story bursting with exuberance and energy.

  • Wreckers

    Author:
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 9+

    Hearn’s novel is a fantasy which combines Greek myth, 18th-century Cornish wrecking history, teenage relationships and a vision of post-disaster life in 2028.

  • Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Whistling Caves

    Author: Helen Moss Illustrator: Leo Hartas
    Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    An action-packed beginning to a new series and a good old-fashioned mystery.

  • Runners

    Author: Ann Kelley
    Publisher: Luath Press
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 10+

    In a not too distant future in which the oceans have risen and resources are scarce, 14 year-old Sid is trying to keep himself and his five year-old sister Lo safe from harm.

  • Summer's Shadow

    Author: Anna Wilson
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 12+

    The sumptuous setting makes for a perfect summer read - the gentle introduction of a romance will keep young teen readers engaged and the spooky set-up is atmospheric with some chilling moments.

  • Winter Damage

    Author: Natasha Carthew
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 13+

    Ennor Carne needs to find her mother.