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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Castle in the Attic


Awhile back I found a copy of The Castle in the Attic at our local Goodwill store and I put it in the cart. Before I left the store I had removed it from the cart, deciding that I would bypass it. Then I read someone else's review of it and instantly regretted my decision to leave this book behind. Therefore I was pleased-to-ecstatic to find another copy pop up at Goodwill later on. The best $0.99 cents I ever spent on a book!

Some of my first reviews on this site were pathetically left at "I really liked this book!" or "I really hated this book!" I've tried to hone my skills as a book reviewer over the course of the past few years but I have to confess an inner urge to revert back to "the good old days" when I just left it at a "two thumbs up" where this book is concerned. Except saying that I would give this book two thumbs up seems particularly lifeless and uninteresting. I'd need to add a few thumbs, a few toes perhaps and a very wide grin. This book is fabulous and deserves heartily accolades from me (and the rest of the world).

Ok, ok, so now I have to tell you WHY I liked it. Right!?

Ever since I read The Code of Chivalry and decided that I would really like to encourage my son in his pursuit of knowledge regarding Knights in Shining Armor (always said in an excited voice with lots of exclamation points in the voice inflection) I have been on the prowl for good books on knights. I was, of course, attracted to this book because of the title and the cover art. It piqued my interest. But when I sat down to read it, oh! Elizabeth Winthrop had apparently also read the Code of Chivalry and wasn't about to back down on the terms involved.

This book is about a ten year old boy named William who is about to lose his long time nanny. Before she leaves him, determined to return to her brother and home in England, she gifts him with a rather large and magical "toy" castle which is stored in the attic. She also presents him with a miniature knight with a silver helmet who is himself shrowded in mystery and legend. When the little two inch knight comes to life, so does William. He grows in wisdom and understanding throughout this story, discovering that he is worthy to fight great battles and that he, too, can be victorious in his pursuits and endeavors. But it's not just a feel good story! Oh no. William's nanny insists on good morals and principles. She demands nothing less than William's very best. When she recites some of the rules of chivalry, well, I was sold! (I'd have been tempted to hire her as a nanny for a young boy also!)

I truly cannot wait to share this book with my son(s). I am eager for the day that this book can be used for a read aloud and I will make a big deal out of that day. (Similar to the big deal I plan on making when we finally get to read The Mysterious Benedict Society.) It is imaginative, well-told, well-written, clever and, well, just plain good.

The Castle in the Attic is a keeper, a winner and a delight and I look forward to revisiting again many times over. I'm dubbing this 'a favorite' because it is!

10 comments:

Sharon said...

I am always on the lookout for great books! Thank you!

AZ Dog Mom said...

I actually remember reading this book in my younger days. I recognized that cover. Crazy. I don't remember much about the book other than the fact that I liked it so much I read a number of times (in one summer even).

Calon Lan said...

This was a favorite of mine when I was younger. Great book.

Nicola said...

There's a sequel too called "The Battle for the Castle", though I haven't read it. But my son read both and enjoyed them.

Sky said...

Fun! I have to keep up on my amazon list, so many times I mean to update it from here and then forget....

Amy said...

I've never heard of this one--I'll have to look it up for sure!

Knitfiction said...

Carrie, what a thrill to read your thoughtful and cogent review of my novel, THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. I felt so strongly about the lessons of chivalry when I wrote about William and still do. To find enthusiastic readers like yourselves truly keeps me writing...

Elizabeth Winthrop

Holly said...

This sounds terrific. I think my son would love it!

SmallWorld at Home said...

My kids loved this book!

hopeinbrazil said...

My boys loved this book as a read-aloud. And if my memory serves me right we liked the sequel even better.

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