Title: Featherlight
Author: Peter Bunzl
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Illustrator: Anneli Bray
Cover illustrator: Evan Hollingdale
Genre: Older children’s fiction, Fantasy
Book format: Paperback
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Description: When the lighthouse no longer shines, what else has the power to guide you to shore? Deryn’s father is the lighthouse keeper on Featherstone Island, keeping the lantern lit to protect passing boats from the treacherous rocky coastline. But when an emergency arises and Deryn is left alone to keep watch over the lighthouse, she finds herself in a terrible situation when the lamp runs out of oil during a wild storm.
With a fishing boat in peril on the sea, Deryn has to seek help from an unusual source. Will she be able to keep the lantern lit through the dark, dangerous night?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Featherlight book cover
Final book cover
Review: This is a lovely story that made me smile so much after reading it. Deryn lives with her mum and dad on a small island with a lighthouse. Her father is the lighthouse keeper, but when Deryn’s mum goes into labour she and Deryn’s father go to the mainland for help, leaving Deryn in charge to look after the lighthouse. But one night the lamp runs out of oil and a boat is in trouble, nearing the shore, can Deryn find a way to light the lamp before it’s too late?

I just love how wonderful this story is and how magical it became, literally! The story begins with Deryn’s mum going into labour and Deryn being left alone on the small island which houses the lighthouse. While her mum and dad stay on the mainland, Deryn is left to look after the lighthouse, a job that is tougher than it seems. Deryn’s story is narrated by her and gives us a glimpse into a wonderful and magical life that she spends being the lighthouse keeper’s daughter. As Deryn wonders about her future brother or sister, she spends the nights lighting and oiling the lamp and keeping the lighthouse working to help warn any boats at sea.

Featherlight book page image one
©The Strawberry Post – Inside the proof copy (final book may appear a little different)

This story felt like a fun tale but it’s when Deryn finds something and starts looking after it that I really began to get into this story much more. I love the relationship that blossomed between Deryn and Tan and what happens as the story goes on. I don’t want to give it away, but the story does take on a magical twist and I just love how the serious tale of the boat in danger at sea is mixed in with a more magical story. The title of the book makes sense when you read further into this story and I just love how this tale pulled at my emotions, both feeling sad and happy at different points. The story has a wonderful ending and I just love how everything works out. It’s a good and satisfying ending, and a good story over all, although if I’m honest I would have loved to have read more detail about the island Deryn lives on and her life on it as at first I couldn’t even place what time period the book was set in, and many of the moments describing the island were wonderful but a bit too brief for me.

The story has a lovely ending and one which I couldn’t stop smiling about once I had finished. At the end of the book there is some additional information abou the inspiration for the story and I love how some real life people were the inspiration for what happens in the story and Deryn herself. The pre-publication proof copy I got has some lovely chapter headers featuring a feather which looks lovely, in keeping with the beautiful cover which I just adore! The book has easy to read sentences and paragraphs that are separated and have a font that is easy to read for dyslexics. It’s also published on an off white coloured paper which also makes it easier to read.

This really is a lovely story and far more interesting and special than you first think. At first it seems like a story set around the running of the lighthouse, but it becomes a much more magical and wonderful one and one that tugged at the emotions. Tan is what really made this story special in my opinion, and it has such a lovely and perfect ending too!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like stories with a magical twist?  What about stories based or inspired by real people or events?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂