Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

I’ve seen this book listed several places as an excellent book for kids. I originally got it for Miss Adventure because it mentioned a Hogwarts feel to the story (and she’s read the entire Harry Potter series multiple times). I decided I wanted to read it as well because of the semi-sentient castle that would remake itself on a regular basis. That sounded like something fun to read about.

Published: 2011

Genre: middle grade fantasy

Length: 225 pages

Setting: Castle Glower in the country of Sleyne, with medieval technology

Summary: The King and Queen of Castle Glower are off to see their eldest son graduate from Mage School, leaving Celie, her sister Lilah, and brother (and heir) Rolf at home. The Royal Party is ambushed on their way home and all evidence points to the death of Celie’s family. Celie doesn’t believe it, though because the Castle hasn’t changed her parents’ or Rolf’s room. The Council decided Rolf was too young to be King, so they set up a regency for him. Turns out the Vhervhish prince, typically an enemy of Sleyne, is working with the Speaker of the Council to be declared heir, kill Rolf, and become King of Sleyne. Celie works with the Castle and its staff to make life difficult for the Council members and the Vhervish. The Vhervish put the Castle to sleep so it can no longer help Celie. Her parents and brother come back just as everything is most dire.

Final thoughts: I loved the idea of a Castle that can change its configuration based on its desires and the needs of its inhabitants. Happily, the book didn’t disappoint. The plot moves along quite briskly, so there’s no chance to get bored. Things steadily get worse for the kids at the center of the story, but they continue to make the best of the situation. Luckily, they have a resourceful friend who learns what really happened to their parents and brother. They never give up hope, partly because of how the Castle reacts. The Castle, even though it doesn’t talk, is a main character and a fun one. It’s hard to hide your true nature from the walls that are always watching. Then, the Castle provides appropriate lodging for you. So, over time the Vhervish rooms became more and more uncomfortable and farther away from the Throne Room, while the other ambassador’s rooms got cozier. This is a middle grade book, so everything works out in the end.

Title comes from: Tuesdays, when the King heard petitions, were often when the Castle got bored and would rearrange itself.

Reading challenges fulfilled: book #48 for the year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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