Between Sea and Sky

“The sea is as near as we come to another world” – Anne Stevenson

In a near future where a series of environmental disasters has left much of the country underwater, Pearl lives on a floating oyster farm with her father and younger sister, Clover. Following her mum’s death several years earlier, Pearl refuses to set foot on land, believing her illness was caused by the poisons in the ground. Meanwhile, Clover dreams of school, friends and a normal life.

Then Nat comes to spend the summer at the sea farm while his scientist mum conducts some experiments. Leaving behind the mainland, with its strict rules and regulations, he brings with him a secret. But when the sisters promise to keep his secret safe, little do they realize that they may be risking everything…

Cover art by Kate Forrester; Design by Pip Johnson

Some reviews…

“Atmospheric, memorable, extraordinarily gripping, this is storytelling at its finest.” ― The Guardian

“I loved Penfold’s debut … and this confirms her as a rising star of children’s fiction, mixing a thrilling evocative adventure with pertinent themes of the environment and recovery.” ―  Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

“A beautifully told adventure that will have readers, like its protagonists, diving deep to discover the fragility of our eco-system and emerging emboldened to protect its delicate balance.” ― Sita Brahmachari, author of Where the River Runs Gold

BOSS level MG dystopia, so vivid!” ― Louie Stowell, author of The Dragon in the Library


Check out this mudlarker’s guide to Between Sea and Sky, with background notes to some of the real things and places that inspired the book. There is also a downloadable teaching guide written by Scott Evans.

Shortlisted for the Teach Primary KS2 Book Award and Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Award.

More reviews

“A message to us all in the most powerful, evocative and hopeful story spinning.” ―  Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks’ War

“I loved Between Sea and Sky. I was totally immersed… I could almost smell the sea and feel salt in my hair. Powerful storytelling and a thought-provoking tale.” ―  Gill Lewis, author of Sky Hawk

“A shimmering testament to the restorative power of nature and the limitless wonder unearthed by childhood curiosity.” ― Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild

“Nicola Penfold makes me want to love our planet harder, hold it closer.” ― Rashmi Sirdeshpande, author of How to Change the World

“An original and wonderful story of wild children and a world in trouble … so perfectly written that reading it is living it. And living it is an adventure.” — Rachel Delahaye, author of Mort the Meek