Book Review: Still Water – Chris Priestley

Welcome back!

I’ve had this one on my list for a while and came across it today. I am in one of those moods for short reads so this was good timing. Spooky, dark, and perfect during the run up to Hallowe’en! Don’t forget to check out the first chapter below.

Author(s): Chris Priestley
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication date: Out now


Evacuated from London at the outbreak of war, Rosie is taken in by kind Mrs Taylor and her daughter Mary. But all is not as it seems. Mary resents and bullies Rosie, and Mrs Taylor is hiding a dark secret.

When Rosie comes across a strange girl swimming in a local pond, she hopes they will become friends. But instead her appearance leads to a horrifying revelation that will have terrifying consequences…

Taken from Still Water


I love a good spooky tale, especially ones that remind me of the books I read as a child. Still Water is dark, creepy, and satisfying.

Poor Rosie is evacuated for her own safety to the home of a woman and her daughter in the countryside. At first, it all seems idyllic, but Mary soon makes sure Rosie knows she’s not welcome, and turns the local children against her.

Lonely and bored, Rosie wanders off and makes a new friend. One who only she can see, and who has a very specific request for Rosie…

As much as I knew what was coming and predicted the ending early on, I think a younger reader (one who hasn’t read a mountain of horror stories) will love the sinister element to this book.

Priestley’s writing is engaging and grips you from the very start. And, as it’s a book from Barrington Stoke, the format is dyslexia-friendly. This is an ideal book for all middle-grade readers, and will be a popular choice with reluctant readers.

Many thanks to Barrington Stoke for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Read the first chapter!

Order now

You can support your local bookshop by buying Still Water through them directly, or via Hive.

Comment below

What do you think of Still Water? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.

Wishing you all a wonderfully bookish week,


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