Rating: 5 stars
Jessica Day George brings it all to her “Tuesdays at the Castle” series. The first book includes gripping action, fabulous characters, well-written dialogue and best of all — a magic castle.
The castle is at its best, or worst, on Tuesdays. That’s when it changes. And the main character, Princess Celie, wants to know all about the castle and its moods and changes. She is mapping the rooms, but how do you map a place that changes weekly?
And that’s the crux of the story — the relationship between Celie and the castle. For make no mistake, the castle is not inanimate — it’s a living, breathing, thinking creation. It somehow knows what Celie needs and makes it happen.
Celie and her family need the castle to help them when an evil plot causes her parents, the King and Queen, to disappear. While they are missing, there are those who want to take over the kingdom. Celie and her sister, Lilah, must help their brother, Rolf, thwart the evildoers. And they manage to do it — with the help of the castle. Of course, they must use their brains and their pluck to outwit the adults who are trying to wrest control of the castle away from them.
But they have an advantage, if the castle doesn’t like or trust someone, that person ends up in a room the size of a cell. On the other hand, if the castle likes you, you will end up in the lap of luxury.
By the end of the book, readers will long for a magic castle of their own.
This is a middle grade book that is perfect for advanced third graders through sixth graders. Don’t be fooled by the rather juvenile cover illustration — fifth and sixth graders will really enjoy the adventure and the bravery shown by the characters.
Please note: This review is based on the final paperback book provided by the publisher, Bloomsbury Press, for review purposes.