Tuesdays at the Castle: Jessica Day George (Bloomsbury, 2011)
I loved the premise of this book so although it’s a younger read than I usually enjoy I eagerly devoured it. The book follows the inhabitants of Castle Glower, a castle with a mind of its own that generally tends to add an extra room or rearrange itself on Tuesdays. Except, for most of this novel, the changes happened on any day of the week due to the nature of the plot so the title is somewhat misleading.
There are lots of interesting little facets to this story, like how the Castle chooses its own rulers, and the politics between neighbouring kingdoms. The main character is Celie, the youngest daughter of the current King who is aged 11 (but comes across as much younger most of the time) and the plot is full of intrigue where the King, Queen and eldest son disappear and the Council try to force the fourteen year-old heir to take the throne under their stewardship. The Castle itself it a major player, creating a room for Celie and her family when it realises trouble is afoot.
On the whole, this is an enjoyable and exciting tale for approx 8-12 year olds. It has some faults in logic, for instance I’m not entirely sure how an eleven year old can really haul a 300-page atlas that she’s drawn with her at all times, and Celie isn’t as strong a female lead as I’d like (the set-up is quite male oriented) but on the whole it’s a decent read. It ought to appeal to boys and girls, but I suspect the female lead might be a hard sell for boys despite the ‘unisex’ plot.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Tuesdays at the Castle by Bloomsbury for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.