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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Tuesdays at the Castle* by Jessica Day George - middle grades book review
Also by Jessica Day George:

Dragon Spear (Dragon Slippers)

Princess of Glass

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Dragon Slippers

Dragon Flight
Tuesdays at the Castle
by Jessica Day George
Ages 9-13 240 pages Bloomsbury USA October 2011 Hardcover    

The castle in Jessica Day George’s new series is always rearranging itself - usually out of boredom, but sometimes out of anger or love.

When King Glower and Queen Celina (who smells like strawberries) disappear on their way to the Castle of Wizardry, eleven-year-old Cecelia’s connection with the castle strengthens. The castle builds a round room only she can find, supplying her with objects like a cloak of silence and spyglasses she’ll need to help her brother, Rolf, and sister, Delilah.

Fourteen year-old Rolf has been chosen by the castle to become the next king, but his position is in jeopardy if certain members of the Council and a deceitful prince from the neighboring village succeed with their treacherous plans to take over the castle. A young man named Pogue Parry has been trouble for the royal family in the past, but he cares for Delilah as much as Cecelia does, and they each face danger at different times in the story to ensure Delilah’s safety.

Readers will care about these characters (even the minor ones like Cook) and be envious of their time in the castle. There is little combat in the story; many of the skirmishes are humorous and involve hiding chamber pots, ripping clothing and spilling ink. Readers will have fun visualizing this three hundred-room castle and be surprised when they learn which villains turn into allies and how the castle does something no one has ever seen before.

Despite the happy ending, readers will sense an ominous future lies ahead for this family. Children who enjoy the 100 Cupboards series (N.D. Wilson) should read Tuesdays at the Castle. This book would also make an exciting read-aloud for a grade three, four, or five class.
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  Tanya Boudreau/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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