I read the book and two of my children read it as well, so this post actually has three reviews! We received a hardback copy of the book. It has a beautiful full color cover. The chapters are short, sectioned, and easy to follow.
The Glass Castle is a Christian fictional fantasy written for children ages 10-14. The time period of the story isn't clear at first, but eventually the reader deduces that it's likely set in medieval times or the middle ages. The main character is a 13 year old girl, Avery, who is wandering the forest with her 3 year old brother Henry, when she is kidnapped. Throughout the rest of the story she attempts to figure out why she was taken, how to find her family again, and what has happened to the young boy. The authors have done a great job keeping the reader engaged and constantly curious about what will happen next. The vocabulary was appropriate, if not a little simple, for the suggested age. There are regular mentions of God, reading the Bible, and praying.
I appreciated the good values that were included in the story, such as working together, kindness and respect, and forgiving others. I had a hard time with some of the dramatic events though. I will be the first to admit I am VERY sensitive, especially when it comes to children. So a story that begins with the kidnapping of a caring 13 year old and the disappearance of her 3 year old brother really bothered me. For the rest of the book I worried with Avery as she repeatedly wondered what had happened to her brother and father. Throughout the story there are mentions of the group of 13 year olds relying on coffee. I realize this may be normal for some, but for us it is not. While it may have been more likely in that time period, I was also surprised at the two marriage proposals. Avery is asked by two different boys. There are no other mentions of relationships or dating activities among the children, other than Avery feels like she has a crush on one boy, though she can't really define that. I wish the book was labeled as Part 1 because the next book is necessary. This one sets up a lot of the plot but it never really gets to the climax of the story. Overall, the story feels like something right out of a young teen's imagination, which is why my kids liked it so much! It's neat to read about 13 year olds who manage daily life so well despite the challenges these characters face.
My 5th grade son wanted me to include his thoughts about the book. He says, "I think the book is pretty good, but very annoying that it just ends, there are NO resolutions to anything! It seems like this book would be for girls because main character is a girl, but both boys and girls will like it. There are scouts that watch throughout the castle, that is one of the reasons boys will like it. There are no bad words in the story."
Both of my children read through it rather quickly, in about 2 days. My 7th grade daughter chose to do a book report on The Glass Castle. Here is her report.
|Are you looking for a book that will make you excitedly want to turn the pages? The book The Glass Castle is an exciting, fiction, mystery book. Jerry B. Jenkins wrote it. Presently, he is a member of the board trustees at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which is a bible school. Writing well, he has composed over 175 books. As coauthor, Trisha White Priebe helped write The Glass Castle. Along with that, she is a wife and mother. She also writes her own books.
In The Glass Castle, Avery meets people who become her friends, and who help her fight against the evil Angelica who wants to be queen. Because she is adventurous, Avery willingly does many daring, drastic, and dangerous stunts. Angelica, the antagonist, is a evil, whiny ruler. Before, Avery was happy. She lived with her family. Her mother had disappeared though. Forcefully, Avery was brought to the castle. She meets wise and caring friends while living in the castle. Working together, Avery and her friends work against Angelica.
Avery desires to leave the castle. Feeling worried for them, Avery wants to find her father and brother as soon as possible. Although she desires to help her family, she also desires to help her friends escape. Before her mom disappeared, Avery remembered she used to sweetly sing songs and tell stories about a large, glass, mysterious castle, and a king, which Avery thought were imaginary. Through the songs, she finds unknown secrets. Cleverly she learned her way around the castle and found the secret passageways. She tried to escape.
Avery tried to find information about her family. Suddenly, her only source of information suspiciously died. Avery, because she had asked a question in a note, thought it was her fault. Later, after studying a book which her mother had owned, she found a hidden key. Remembering a small, hidden, silver key hole, she went to it. Upon opening the door, she realized what she had found. The most mysterious, missing passages! But no information about her family.
The Glass Castle is a enjoyable book because there is mystery and excitement. Avery found the passages. After that, sadly, we do not know what happened. When the authors, who are Jerry B. Jenkins and Trisha White Priebe, do that it builds excitement for the next book. This book has excellent morals about helping, forgiving, and respecting. Working together, Avery and her friends discover things about the castle. Kindly working together, we can do many things. What a page turning book!
Both of my children are anticipating the sequel that comes out in October, The Ruby Moon. I do admit that even though this is not a book I would have chosen, I can't wait to find out what happens!
Where to find The Glass Castle:
Shiloh Run Press is a division of Barbour Publishing
Available in hardback, ePub, and Kindle