‘My eyes are caught by a rolling wave. Am I still dreaming?’

Award-winning Sita Brahmachari has written a beautiful tale for children that explores loss and discovery, legend and reality, settling into a new place, and the coming to terms with sadness. In Corey’s Rock, a grieving family move to Orkney, and ten-year-old Isla finds solace in the nature and folklore, particularly the story of the Selkie. Endorsed by Amnesty International for illuminating the human rights values of family, friends, home, safety and refuge, and beautifully illustrated by Jane Ray, this a book that will stay with readers young and old. Enjoy the extract below.


Corey’s Rock
By Sita Brahmachari
Published by Otter Barry Books



We stand on the grey rock
of our new home.
The four of us.
At sunset.
Four is an even number,
Mum, Dad, me and Sultan.
But everything feels odd.
Stroking Sultan’s head
and watching the surface
where nothing breaks
but waves.


‘Time to say goodbye,’ Mum says.
She hands me petals, and more to Dad.
We raise our hands to scatter them across the sea.
The rose that’s supposed to mean we say goodbye
to Corey.
My brother.
We watch him float away.
A petal for every birthday.
One by one by one by one by one.
Five red petals blur the fire horizon.
‘We’ll call this Corey’s rock,’ Dad says.


I follow the red dots far out to the world’s end,
calling for Corey.
My voice,
the wind’s voice,
the sea’s sway,
all melt away and the petals grow heavy and sink
into the inky depths.


‘Corey,’ I call.
I hit my head against the bedpost.
Through bleary eyes I search for the reason I am here,
where nothing is where it should be,
not even the door.
The windows have shrunk into
painted brick walls.

I lift my head from my pillow.
And now I remember the
half-unpacked trunk in the corner,
below the window with the curtain of yellow daffodils
that only make me feel sadder.
Corey loved daffodils.


I creak down the rickety stairs
where Mum and Dad sit close in the fire’s glow,
steam rising from their cups,
Sultan warming their feet.
Mum reading, Dad sleeping.
The TV is turned to silent.
These are the things we did in our old flat with Corey,
but now they seem strange,
as if we’re pretending he never was.

My eyes are caught by a rolling wave.
Am I still dreaming?
On the screen
seals wash in, swash in, from the sea.
Fishermen rush to the shore,
not with nets but with blankets.
Dad stirs and watches the passing pictures,
searching for the remote. He mutters,
‘Shipwreck…here I am digging up the ancient boats
and now new ones washing in…’


The seals wash up one by one by one by one.
An old man reaches down and pulls back a skin
and underneath,
my breath flies out of me,
there is a boy’s face.
‘Corey!’ I say his name out loud.


Corey’s Rock by Sita Brahmachari is published by Otter Barry Books, priced £8.99.

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