Tuesdays at the Castle is written by Jessica Day George. It was published in 2011 by Bloomsbury. George’s website can be found here.
“Tuesday at Castle Glower is Princess Celie’s favorite day. That’s when the Castle magically grows a new room, a turret, or sometimes an entire wing. No one knows how or why the Castle does it, and no one except Princess Celie has ever bothered to map out the Castle’s many twists and turns. But when the king and queen disappear and Councilors from neighboring kingdoms arrive to “advise” the three Glower children, even the Castle seems to know that something is wrong….Take the new tower room, which is stocked with mysterious objects and has a knack for appearing just when Celia needs it. Then there is the secret passageway that leads the children to a room the Councilors don’t want them to know about. To find their parents and hold on to their kingdom, Celie and her siblings will need all their ingenuity, Celie’s maps, plus some help from their beloved Castle—before it’s too late.”
This book was so cute! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The idea of a sentient castle is very original for the most part, and the fact that children are the ones who saved the kingdom just makes me chuckle. This is what makes Middle Grade fiction so great, right here. Great plot + great characters + original concept = happiness. I never knew that I could have so many feels about a castle. But the part where the castle wakes up because Celie gets hurts and then gets rid of Khelsh and then goes all soft so she doesn’t get hurt/killed is pretty much the best part of the book. I think the castle was my favorite character, seriously. There’s a sequel! Excitement! I have to read more Jessica Day George. I’ve actually read quite a few of her books, but I need to do it again because they’re that good.
Recommended Age Range: 10+
Warnings: There’s a part at the end that could be a little scary to some younger readers. Think menacing prince attacking young princess.
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy Passages/Quotes:
“They’re trying to take over the Castle,” Lilah hissed. “But let’s wait until we get to my room to explain.” “Is your room up there?” Pogue looked doubtfully at the spiraling staircase they had now passed twice. “I think this is the same staircase that was back there.” He had encountered the Castle’s foibles and changes many times, of course, but was not half as skilled at navigating them as the royal family. “My room should be right here,” Lilah said, frowning. “It keeps showing me this room,” Celie said, pointing up the stairs to the Spyglass Tower. “I’m starting to wonder if it’s important.” ~George 32 Celie turned to run, and there was only a large arch—the doors were gone—leaving the guards standing with startled expressions. She snatched up Lilah’s hand and pulled her older sister though the arch. They darted between the guards to another arch that had opened on the far side of the main hall. It closed behind them with a crash of stone, sealing the guards out, and the sisters looked around to find themselves in Celie’s room. Through another arch they could see Lilah’s room, and the other way out was the narrow staircase to the Spyglass Tower. Celie spun around, staring at the sudden changes. “How did the castle…this was never…” ~George 110-111
I loved this book! Tuesdays at the Castle is probably one of my favorite contemporary fantasy Middle Grade books now and goes above and beyond the usual standard of quality. It’s fun, full of suspense, and the ending is so sweet that you almost forget that Castle Glower isn’t actually alive in the human sense.
You can buy this here: Tuesdays at the Castle