One of the sweetest parts of childhood is the belief that magic exists—whether in the form of fairies, sorcerers, unicorns, or dragons. Kate adored these whimsical worlds when she was little, and ever since, her favourite genre has been fantasy.
Tuesdays at the Castle, a middle-grade novel by Jessica Day George, is one book that Kate returned to time and time again.
The magic in this story is embodied in Castle Glower, home to Princess Celie and her family. Castles can be old, lonely and draughty places, but not this particular palace. “Whenever Castle Glower became bored, it would grow a new room or two,” the book begins enticingly.
This sets the scene perfectly for enchantment and adventure, as Castle Glower adds rooms or takes them away, moves passageways, creates staircases, and reveals hidden chambers, seemingly randomly. But there’s a method to the madness. The castle acts as a royal adviser and protector, and Celie, in particular, has learned to interpret the meaning of the castle's transformations.
One day, the King and Queen are assumed dead during an ambush by bandits. A group of ambassadors from a nearby kingdom invite themselves to stay at Castle Glower. They claim to be there to help Celie and her siblings during this tragic time, but when the castle expresses displeasure by shrinking one gentleman's bedroom to the size of a prison cell, Celie knows which of the visitors not to trust.
Kate loved this novel. Celie is a smart, brave and resourceful heroine, and the castle is brimming with personality. It's helpful, mischievous, and wise, and a fantastic ally as the children work to save their kingdom.
There are as many twists in the story as there are in the castle's everchanging floorplan, and the adventure is delivered with a light-hearted touch. For example, the children’s attempt to remove the unwanted visitors involves a series of pranks which will have young readers smiling.
Tuesdays at the Castle is followed by the sequels Wednesdays in the Tower, Thursdays with The Crown, Fridays with the Wizards, and Saturdays at Sea. Jessica Day George has created a spellbinding world that will remind kids—and grown-ups—to imagine that anything is possible.
Books in series: 5
Tuesdays at the Castle
Wednesdays in the Tower
Thursdays with the Crown
Fridays with the Wizards
Saturdays at Sea
Two kids, two cats, and a house full of books. We share our favourite picks for young readers.