A Stranger Came Ashore

Mollie Hunter

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Robbie knows there's something strange about the man who stumbles out of a stormy sea into the Shetland islanders lives. Will anyone believe him? Mollie Hunter's best-known story, a true Scottish classic.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Age Range:
From 8 to 12 years
136 pages
Publication date:
22 Mar 2012
Classic Kelpies


When Finn Learson literally stumbles out of a stormy sea into a small village on the Shetland Isles, he steals the villagers' hearts. He's handsome and charming, he helps with the fishing and the harvest, and he's particularly drawn to Robbie's older sister Elspeth, with her beautiful long golden hair.

Yet there's something about Finn that makes Robbie and his dog Tam feel uneasy. Haunted by local tales of the Selkie folk, Robbie suspects there's more to Finn than meets the eye. But who would believe Robbie's wild suspicions?

As the story reaches its explosive finale at the fire festival of Up Helly Aa, can Robbie reveal the truth in time to save his sister?

One of Mollie Hunter's most popular novels for children, A Stranger Came Ashore was first published in 1975 to great acclaim. This new Kelpies Classics edition brings this much-loved Scottish classic to a new generation of children.


'Strange and chilling... it captures that sense of unease that springs from old, old superstitions that might yet harbour a grain of truth.'
--Den of Geek

'Stunning in its blend of local tradition and belief, legend and life.'
-- Elizabeth Wein, The Guardian, What are the best Scottish children's books?

'First published nearly forty years ago, Mollie's story remains as intriguing and beguiling as ever.'
-- The Scotsman

'The haunting mystery of this story grips the reader to the end.'
-- Sunday Telegraph

'A fantastic, gripping tale... set on the beautiful, windswept Shetland Isles... they are perennial favourites and deservedly so.'
-- Scottish Children's Books, Winter 2002


Mollie Hunter (1922-2012) wrote more than 25 novels for children since 1953, incorporating a life-long exploration of Scotland's folklore and history into her stories. She received numerous awards and honours for her books, including the New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award and the Carnegie Medal.


These books are also by Mollie Hunter:
The Thirteenth Member
Escape from Loch Leven
The Lothian Run

A Stranger Came Ashore has been re-launched in our Kelpies Classics range, along with other classic Scottish children's books (which are still fantastic reads, many years later):
The Desperate Journey by Kathleen Fidler
The Boy with the Bronze Axe by Kathleen Fidler

Don't miss the Discover Kelpies website for children with exclusive author interviews, fun stuff and latest gossip on your favourite Scottish stories.

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