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.
I’ve read two other books by Jessica Day George a while ago that I really enjoyed, but they were YA books. This one is MG but I’ve been meaning to read it forever. You can tell the author loves to write about mysterious castles and princesses ,no matter the genre, and I don’t mind! I really loved this book. It was just so fun and lovely and I was hooked on it pretty quickly. The plot keeps moving and thickens quickly. Keep in mind that I try to read books for the age they are written for, and appreciate it differently than a book written for teens or adults.
The main character Celie is an eleven year old girl, who has a unique voice that I think perfectly represents an eleven year old. She has moments of childishness, but she also has moments of maturity and some great ideas, and she develops throughout the novel. She also struggles with being treated and talked to like a child, and her family has trouble explaining the delicate topics in the book (assassination, political intrigue, the such), which annoys her. Writing the book through Celie’s eyes makes the book much more accessible to children, and allows the aforementioned topics to be explained to kids without talking down to them but also without making it scary to them. Celie also has an older brother, Rolf, and an older sister, Lilah and they might be my favorite part of the book. Their relationships and interactions were precious, and very realistic. They goof around, they yell at each other, they disagree, they work together, but you always know they love each other. Since I grew up with two older brothers (and later a bunch of younger siblings), I really connected and related to Celie. All the characters were great.
There is a lot of fun mischief, but it is also serious at times. The sentient castle is very entertaining, and you and Celie’s special relationship and her interpretation of it’s moods is the same. One complaint is that the book is written in third person limited, and I think a first person would have worked better here. But it wasn’t prominent throughout the whole book, it just annoyed me sometimes.This book was charming, engaging, and I loved the characters. I would recommend this to any kid, and also to adults who enjoy middle grade. It does have it’s little plot holes and middle grade implausibility sometimes, but if you read it through a middle grade lens, like I did, I think you will really enjoy it.
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Length: 225 pages