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Watery reads for 8-12s

Not As We Know It

Did you know that 2018 is the Welsh Year of the Sea?

Below are our favourite sea-based books. Get ready to dive into an exciting world of mermaids, pirates, selkies and shipwrecks. Fin-tastic!

  • Ingo

    Author: Helen Dunmore
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books

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

  • Emily Windsnap and the Siren's Secret

    Author: Liz Kessler
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books

    If anyone can single-handedly bring peace, solve the mystery of the lost sirens, find her estranged grandparents and persuade Neptune to lift his banishment curse, it's Emily...

  • The Selkie’s Mate

    Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Claire Jenkins
    Publisher: Graffeg

    Lyrical text is enhanced by evocative watercolour illustrations in this haunting and heart-wrenching tale of love, loss and trust, which is inspired by Selkie legends from around the world.

  • Oliver and the Seawigs

    Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre
    Publisher: Oxford University Press

    Philip Reeve and Sarah McInytre have joined forces to create a wonderfully wacky nautical tale.

  • Deep Blue

    Author: Jennifer Donnelly
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

    The first book in the Waterfire saga, this magical undersea adventure takes its inspiration from the myth of Atlantis. The courageous teen mermaid heroines will especially appeal to girl readers.

  • The Seal Children

    Author: Jackie Morris
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books

    A tender and mythical exploration of the selkie myth in a family context, with a gentle and evocative use of watercolour, this breathtakingly beautiful book is one to treasure.

  • Not As We Know It

    Author: Tom Avery
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    Younger middle-grade readers desperate to get their teeth into something a little more serious will enjoy this sensitive story.

  • Ottoline at Sea

    Author: Chris Riddell
    Publisher: Macmillan's Children's Books

    When Mr Munroe starts wearing the Bog Goggles he is led on an unexpected journey. On her quest to find her friend, Ottoline meets a host of different people and creatures, goes deep sea diving, and even flies in a plane.

  • Mother Cary’s Butter Knife

    Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Anja Uhren
    Publisher: Graffeg

    Inspired by traditional folk tales of mythical sea creatures, this other-worldly story of the savagery and beauty of the ocean will captivate readers. The ethereal illustrations, in a palette of watery blues, greens and greys, perfectly complement the poetic narrative.

  • Adventures of the Steampunk Pirates: rise of the slippery sea monster

    Author: Gareth P Jones
    Publisher: Stripes

    The Steampunk Pirates' treasure has been stolen by what they think is a sea monster. They make a plan to get their treasure back and uncover more mysteries than they bargained for in this rip-roaring tale of daring-do on the high seas.

  • Deep Water

    Author: Lu Hersey
    Publisher: Usborne

    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.

  • Tamsin and the Deep

    Author: Neill Cameron and Kate Brown
    Publisher: David Fickling Books

    A fantastic graphic novel from the team at children's comic The Phoenix, this is a page-turning adventure with a great main character in brave, athletic and reckless Tamsin.