Out of Print Books

This is a list of Robert Westall's out of print books. You may be able to find copies of out of print books by searching on Amazon or Abe Books. Ghost Abbey and Break of Dark are now available in Kindle and Ebook format. Scroll down for buy links.


First published 1977 by Macmillan.

When lonely and unhappy Anne visits the long-neglected Watch House in Garmouth, she is only searching for a way to pass the time during the long summer holiday. But then a desperate message takes shape before her eyes. She's drawn deeper and deeper into a century-old tale of shipwreck and unsolved murder which has no easy solution and is only resolved in danger and confusion.


First published 1978 by Macmillan.
Carnegie Medal Runner-up.
American ALA Best Book for Young Adults

John Webster takes no chances with his Triumph Tiger Cub motorbike, but he plays games with Chance. Like tossing a coin to see which road to follow. A stranger offers his barn for the night. It is in the barn that John finds the strange, wild cat that slips in and out of a room with no exits, and who jumps for the cross-brace that no longer exists. A cat called News. John named her that himself, of his own free will, he was sure. Or was he? What are the symbols scratched on the wall? Who leaves gifts of food on the threshold? And why does the motorbike mysteriously stop each time John makes up his mind to leave the barn for good? Is Chance playing games with him?


First published 1979 by Macmillan.

Sixteen year-old Chas McGill (of The Machine Gunners fame), inveterate collector of war souvenirs, has just found a strange contraption washed up on the beach. Is it a detonator? A tracking-device? Chas thinks it might be a radio transmitter that a spy is using to sabotage war shipments locally. But what started as a bet with his best friend Cem soon goes far beyond a game. And Chas' obsessive search for an elusive spy leads him to the most terrible decision of his life. This is the sequel to The Machine Gunners.


First published 1984 by Macmillan.

France in the sixteenth century: principalities are at war, heretics are burned and superstition is rampant. Cam, an itinerant jack-of-all-trades, stops at an inn for the night and an old blacksmith insists that he deliver a message to someone in a neighbouring city under seige. He also gives him a blood-stained knife that will never leave his side. When Cam finally reaches his destination, the old Duke is dead and the great golden cats, the Miw, are waiting.


First published 1987 by Viking Kestrel.
Children's Book Prize Runner-up

Up on Fiend's Fell, Ralph stumbles over the stones of a cairn and finds a mysterious creature from another world buried in a coffin. Terrified and excited, he hides his discovery, thinking no-one else will find it. But it's too late. A signal has been sent. Ralph and his quiet Pennine village become caught up in a deadly battle between alien species. Alone and afraid, what can he do against the invaders? Forces far stronger than Ralph are at work and soon he finds that Earth has become a new battlefield in an old conflict.


First published 1988 by Scholastic.
Short-listed for The Guardian Fiction Award

Maggi is delighted when her father takes a new job renovating a crumbling stately home in Cheshire. It's a chance to escape from the north-east, from the predatory Doris Streeton and perhaps from the grief at the heart of Maggi's family. But Maggi gradually comes to realise that her new home holds secrets far more sinister than anything that has been left behind.

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First published 1988 by Blackie.

It begins with a gruesome discovery: the body of a sheep, torn horribly apart. Then other animals die or go missing, and a great black creature is seen vanishing into the night. Sammy knows that his Dad can't afford to lose any more sheep. But what kind of animal could the killer be? Alone in the fields, the night skies lit up by an air-raid, Sammy is to need all his courage and determination when he suddenly comes face-to-face with the terrifying creature in the dark.


First published 1989 by Blackie/Scholastic.

When police raid the hippy campsite at Stonehenge, Tobias' peace-loving Dad is arrested and the rest of the family thrown into confusion. While their mother goes off in search of help, Tobias and his sister shelter in an old barn. There he finds a statue of an old man on a horse and he senses something powerful, something magical about the ancient battered figure.

THE PROMISE (Young Adult)

First published 1990 by Macmillan.
Winner Sheffield Children's Book Prize
Smarties Prize Shortlist
German Preis der Leseratten

Valerie was beautiful with her long red hair and pale, pale face. Bob found it easy to promise that he would come to find her if she ever got lost. A boy in love will do anything he's asked. It seemed such a little thing at the time. But he'd underestimated Valerie. Used to having her own way in life, she was no different in death. She still wanted Bob, pulling him ever closer to the brink while the bombs of World War Two rained down. Bob has to face Valerie in a final test of will with his own life at stake.


First published 1990 by Blackie.

It is Tim who finds the model ship buried in the sand and, with growing excitement he, his sister Tracey and their eccentric Uncle Geoff, realise the significance of their discovery. For the model ship yields up a long-forgotten secret and a story of danger and romance. This is a compelling story of obsession, family hatred and adventure.


First published 1990 by Methuen.

Mel, the cat had always wanted to fly. Geoff, the cat had always wanted to understand how the universe worked. The night Grok and Klek passed their space exams and wanted some fun, they landed on Earth and gave both cats their hearts' desire. They flew and saw what men had made of their world. They thought they could make it better. And so the heartbreak and danger begins. A startling and dark-humoured fable.

YAXLEY'S CAT (11-13)

First published 1991 by Macmillan.
Carnegie Medal Shortlist
Smarties Prize Shortlist

The cottage was desolate, even dilapidated, but it had an air of mystery about it that attracted Timothy and his sister Jane. So the pair of them set to work to convince their mother, Rose, to forget the rest of their holiday plans and stay. And to their everlasting surprise, and regret, she agrees. For there was something menacing about Yaxley's cottage. No one had set foot in the place for seven years, not since old Yaxley, the owner, had vanished. Where had he gone and what had happened to him? Tim and Jane think it might be fun to find out but their neighbours didn't. And then, one day, someone does return. Not Yaxley, but his cat – and it's out for revenge.


First published 1991 by Viking Kestrel
Two chilling stories of the supernatural awarded The Dracula Society 'Children of the Night' Award

Evil is leaking from the stones of Muncaster Cathedral and something sinister is stirring. Over the years, how many victims has the dark presence in the south-west tower claimed? Reawakened once more, it's hungry to kill.

Harry Shaftoe's lodgings hide a sinister secret. Can a girl be reaching out of the past to him, from the blazing heart of the London Blitz? Mesmerised and obsessed, how far will Harry go to satisfy her remorseless appetite?

GULF (12+)

First published 1992 by Methuen.
Carnegie Highly Commended
Whitbread Prize Shortlist
Winner Children's Book Award
Joint Winner Lancashire Children's Book Award

Tom's little brother Figgis has a strange power – he feels things that are happening thousands of miles away to people he has never met. When the first Gulf War breaks out, a young Iraqi soldier enters Figgis' life in a way that transforms Figgis and his English family. Gulf questions the attitude of people in affluent Western countries to those in developing countries and examines the gulf that exists between them.


First published 1993 by Viking Kestrel.

All anyone expected to find at the bottom of the Wheatstone Pond were the wrecks of model boats. But down below in the black water, the tangled weeds and thick mud, there was something alive, something evil, something that was looking for new victims. As strange things start to happen, Jeff can feel the darkness creep round him, drawing him deeper into the rotting heart of the Wheatstone Pond.


First published 1993 by Methuen.

Seventeen year-old Robbie seems to have the world at his feet. In his final year of school before university, he's not only a prefect, admired for academic brilliance, but also a fearsome athlete who uses both his mammoth stature and his ingenuity in trying to change the fate of his school's rugby team. Then he develops a close relationship with a teacher, Emma Harris. For Robbie school, sport and family begin to lose their importance and he takes a path that leads him to glimpse the difference between glory and honour.


A PLACE FOR ME (Young Adult)

First published 1993 by Macmillan.

Lucy's father has been acting strangely. She knows that he hasn't fully recovered from her mother's death – but this is not grief. Something else is terribly wrong. It started with the picture that mysteriously vanished from her mother's bedroom wall. It ended with her father handing her a large suitcase filled with cash and telling her to run away. To find a place where no-one knows who she is and where she comes from. And still she doesn't understand why she has to start a new life. Or what kind of trouble her father must be in. And she can't shake off the feeling that someone is watching her. A story of deceit, official lies and espionage.


First published 1995 by Methuen.

Miss Crimond was sitting in Dad's chair and Billy hated her. To Billy and all the families who rented her houses in Back Tennyson Street, Miss Crimond was the arch-enemy. Billy and his gang declare war on Miss Crimond, but Billy's campaign has unexpected consequences when he sees the night mare, the horse of his dreams.

HARVEST (Young Adult)

First published 1996 by Methuen.

Set in 1950's England, two university students, Brian and Philippa, meet at harvest camp. With her experiences of the Mau Mau rebellion against the government of Kenya, then a British colony, Brian cannot guess how dramatically Philippa represents the real world, a world she has come to Norfolk to forget.

BLIZZARD (Young Adult)

First published 1996 by Methuen.

Two stories of love and endurance. In 'Chapel Farm' Ralph has everything and wants Margaret to follow him. But she is desperate for space and freedom. In 'Blizzard' Simon and Angela have split up over one important issue. Can they be reconciled if their lives depend on it?


First published 1994 by Macmillan.

Beautifully illustrated by Sophy Williams, this book tells the story of a golden she-cat, exiled from Egypt, and heavy with kitten, and how she finds suitable shelter and there witnesses the miraculous birth of the Christ Child.



Originally published 1985 by Viking Penguin. Shortened version published 1995 by Macmillan.

Was there another Secret War, 1939-1945? Robert Westall became convinced there was after he wrote his much-admired children's novel The Machine Gunners, a book about a gang of children who find a crashed German bomber and steal a machine-gun from it. A few critics called it 'far-fetched'. But then the letters started rolling in ....not from today's children, but from people in their forties, eager to tell him what they had got up to during the war. What they told him made the mere stealing of a machine-gun pale into insignificance. The Children of the Blitz had manifested themselves. This is a fascinating, sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious, account of the lives of a whole generation of British children.



First published 1996 by Macmillan.

Robert Westall loved cats and this anthology was a labour of love for him. He gathered together his favourite stories, sayings and poems about cats to create a book which truly celebrates every aspect of the cat.



First published 1983 by Macmillan.

A rip-roaring collection of eight supernatural short stories starting with Chas McGill who discovers an AWOL soldier from the First World War. They are full of vigour and excitement, tough humour and an appreciation of real people, and sweep the reader along.


First published 1986 by Macmillan.

In these six short stories (seven in the American version published in 1987) Robert Westall explores the frontier between rational normality and the fantastic, or occult. The sins of a whole town are about to be punished. A child lures an old man to his death on Christmas Eve. An ancient tomb brings catastrophic powers to an unsuspecting farmer. Gripping, bizarre and disturbing tales.


First published 1988 by Macmillan.

An exciting collection of six stories for all ages in which everyday things become everyone's nightmares.


First published 1989 by Viking Penguin.

A book of seven chilling stories for adults narrated by Geoff Ashden, one-time bomber pilot, now demobbed, married but still a womaniser, trying to make a fairly honest living in the antiques business – but finding ghosts. 'Dealers are undertakers of a sort' he says. 'When a man dies the undertaker comes for the body and the dealer comes for the rest. I deal in dead men's clocks, pipes and swords. Passing through my hands they give off fear, joy or loneliness. I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England.'


First published 1989 by Methuen.

Seven extraordinary cats, seven well-varied stories which create eerie effects within vividly-realised everyday scenes. Cat fanciers and lovers of fine short fiction will cherish this collection.


First published 1989 by Viking Kestrel.

People seem to do such unimportant things in this collection of six short stories, yet somehow it's enough to summon the supernatural into their lives.

ECHOES OF WAR (All ages)

First published 1989 by Viking Kestrel.

Do you really want the ultimate war souvenir? Even when wars are over they leave their mark in the minds of those who lived through them and echo down the years. Five compelling short stories which accentuate the total experience of war and it's indelible scars.


First published 1992 by Macmillan.

Five stories, dramatically diverse though with a common theme of human frailty.


First published 1997 by Macmillan.

Ten chilling stories. Prepare to be disturbed in a world of the imagination, where time plays tricks and evil haunts ordinary lives.

LOVE MATCH (Young Adult)

First published 1997 by Methuen.

Making the wrong choice, falling in love at the wrong time, loving the unattainable, seven stories which convey the drama, pain and joy of falling in love.


Volume One: Demons and Shadows
Volume Two: Shades of Darkness

First published 1998 by Macmillan.

These two volumes of supernatural stories have been selected from some of Westall's other collections of short stories with a few extra ones added. The flawless execution of plot and character clearly illustrates Westall's skill in spinning a tale. Subtle, sometimes whimsical page-turners that are fraught with tension.