First published: 25th October 2011
By: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celia's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing to itself. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one - other than Celia, that is - takes time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and reportedly killed, it's up to Celia with her secret knowledge of the Castle's many twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.
Note to self: If you are ever in a reading slump and feeling unenthusiastic about your TBR list, pick up a cute, cheery children's novel. Tuesdays at the Castle was just the tonic I needed right now; an adorable adventure that spread a huge smile on my face and filled me with the desire to put a copy into the hands of every little girl I meet.
Jessica Day George's middle-grade fantasy just hits the mark and succeeds at being everything it needs to be. Its writing is simple, yet in its simplicity, it still manages to give us clearly defined and likeable characters; a clever, fast-paced plot; a real threat of danger from the villains; and most importantly, that thrill of magic, action and fun that exists in all the best children's books.
Hard to believe one of the most kick-ass protagonist I've come across this year is an eleven-year-old girl, but Celie is awesome: smart, selfless and brave. I defy anyone not to cheer her on during the climax, where she starts fighting back against the antagonists hard.
Tuesdays at the Castle has a strong emphasis on family, with Celie and her siblings all working together and saving each other, but Celie's strongest relationship is with the castle. I just love the idea of a castle that's always changing and Tuesdays at the Castle really delivers on all the cool possibilities of this.
It's not perfect, no. The ending is a bit rushed and wrapped up too quickly. And yes, this book is aimed at a younger audience than YA and that's obvious with some of the more childish humour and the pranks the characters pull. However, I know I would've greatly enjoyed these jokes as a kid. And for its 256 pages, Tuesdays at the Castle did make me feel like a kid again: A kid who dreamed about being a princess and having great adventures. If you know one, or you were one, then buy this book.
Rating: 4.5 stars