“Saturdays at Sea” by Jessica Day George is the last book in the five-book series that began with “Tuesdays at the Castle.” It’s a lovely fantasy series for middle grade readers who aren’t really interested in romance, but do love adventure and magical creatures.
“Saturdays at Sea” is the last episode, as Celie and her family leave their beloved Castle to meet the family of her sister Lilah’s bethrothed, Lulath, in their seaside country. In the last book, Celie found a ship’s figurehead, and they decided that a ship would be built as a wedding gift for the couple using wood from all parts of the different countries that have figured in the series — to unify them all — and the figurehead.
They travel to Lulath’s country, Grath, and from there end up embarking on an unexpected journey when the finished Ship takes matters into its hands and leaves port suddenly during a sedate harbor tour. (It’s kind of like Gilligan’s Island — they are on a 2-hour tour and get shipwrecked.)
But Celie and those with her have their griffins with them. One of the questions lingering from the previous book, “Fridays with the Wizards,” is whether any unicorns still exist. It was said that they had been hunted by the griffins and some of those who cared for them took them to safety in a far away land.
In this book, they actually think that they may get a chance to see the unicorns. But when the Ship, who has taken control of the ship, appears to have a mind of its own, where will they end up?
The story brings the whole series to a beautiful close. It’s a happy ending, but only after many thrills and twists and turns. Unlike some of the other books in the series, this one really doesn’t have any bad guys (except for one nasty mayor), but the situation they encounter more than makes up for that lack.
Now that the series is over, be sure to get the whole bunch for your favorite middle grade reader. Anyone from third through sixth grade would enjoy these fantastical books. They are perfect for reluctant readers, for wonderful readers (and anyone in between), for reading aloud, for classroom libraries, and for anyone who needs an adventure.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Bloomsbury, the publisher, for review purposes.