Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Published by Bloomsbury on October 25, 2011
Series: Castle Glower #1
Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Length: 225 pages Source: ThriftBooks
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Book Depository • IndieBound
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.
What a well done middle grade novel. 🙂
A lot of middle grade novels feel a bit overly ridiculous for no reason, throwing any sensible storyline to the wind, preferring ridiculous humor to a sensible plot. Tuesdays at the Castle maintains a more-or-less clever storyline, but doesn’t sacrifice the troublesome wink of humor so common in middle grade.
In Tuesdays at the Castle we have three main characters and a variety of friends and villains. The characters do lack a bit of depth, becoming more and more shallows the more minor their role. Even Princess Cecelia if not very well fleshed out, and we know very little about her other than she loves the Castle, once slept with a stuffed lion, and that she’s brave and clever. Again, this is the way most middle grade novels work, but I think I would have liked a bit more about Celie at least.
There’s not a lot of explanation about how magic works in this world – although there is a bit of speculation. The Castle’s peculiarities are often shrugged off. The wizards are not very present, so the reader is left to accept that magic is just how this world works and so there. Which is okay, I guess. It didn’t feel too objectionable, but something worth mentioning – the story went quickly enough that I hardly noticed except in retrospect.
Story-wise, it is a fun little tale. I would have liked to see more new rooms created by the Castle. It was easily the most interesting while things were going well for the Castle. It was a great deal of fun watching Celie, Lila, Rolf, Pogue, and Lulath play tricks on the villains to hamper and frustrate them, and the little twist in the middle was unexpected for me. Tuesdays at the Castle is a book that even its intended audience would be able to read in a single sitting.
Reminding my of books like Ella Enchanted or The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Tuesdays at the Castle is a perfectly delightful middle grade read. It can still be enjoyable for older readers, but it is best intended for a middle grade audience. It’s a story I would have loved when I was younger, and even though I am technically too old for it now, I appreciate it and would easily recommend it to middle grade readers. Loads of fun!
Tuesdays at the Castle stays on my shelf!
This was a good enough book to read and re-read as a light, easy read when I need to shake off some of the heavier, darker YA and adult novels on my shelf. A small, indulgent sort of story, but it was quite fun and I loved it. Definitely worth keeping!
What type of rooms would you like your house to create for you? The castle made a bouncy room for the princes and princesses – I don’t know that I would use that room, but the idea of new, secret rooms is fun! Tell me the ones you’d like to see in the comments!