Friday, June 10, 2016

The Glass Castle



Our family loves to read, so it's no surprise that some of our favorite things to review are books. When I saw that we had the opportunity to read a book from Shiloh Run Press (a division of Barbour Publishing) that is geared toward ages 10-14, I was excited. I read the first chapter of The Glass Castle  by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins and was immediately more intrigued. A king, castle, mystery, suspense, danger--yet clean fiction written by Christian authors--I knew my son Jake, especially, would love it. I read him the first chapter, as well, and he begged for more. That's when I explained that he would have to wait another week or two until the hardcover book arrived in the mail. Poor kid, ha. 

He tore open the package the day it came and immediately began reading. I heard "this is so good" and "I just don't want to stop reading" and "I love this book." He finished all 41 chapters and 250 pages in just a few days. In fact, we had gone to my parents' house on Mother's Day for lunch. The kids had the opportunity to stay there for the afternoon before the evening church service or come home with Leighton and I. Jake almost gave up the privilege of staying and playing in order to finish the book he had left at home. Yeah, that's how much he enjoyed it. 


Rather than hearing what I had to say about the book, I thought it would be fun to see the synopsis through the eyes of a 10-year-old. Here is the summary of the book in his own words.
     
"It was great. It was about Avery, a girl who was kidnapped at 13 and brought to a castle that was full of secrets. She was scared because she didn't know where her little brother or her father were. At the castle she made some friends, a few enemies, but mostly kept to herself. All the kids in the castle were 13 years old. The kids were required to do all the work in the castle because the new queen-to-be (Angelina) didn't trust anyone and sent away the servants. Some kids were scouts who spied on the adults through vents and would tell everyone to leave if someone was coming, some worked on the dress for the wedding, and others cooked all the food (Avery tried, but wasn't very good and almost set the place on fire). Even though all the kids were orphans, they wore fancy and expensive clothes because they got them from Angelina because she threw away clothes after only wearing them once. Avery was introduced to chocolate for the first time and thought it was delicious.

"The kids elected a boy named Tuck to be the king of the kids and he chose Avery to be his queen. She liked exploring and the more time she spent there, she realized that the castle was exactly like the tree house her father built for her at home. That's how she discovered the library. She loved books and was mad when the adults started burning them.  

"She eventually escaped, but when she found out that someone took over her house and her dad was gone, she went back to the castle. She went to the library and found a secret door. When she opened it, it led to a secret tunnel. That's how it ends."

After hearing how the book is "so good" and how I "had to read it" myself, I had to read it myself. I easily saw why he loved it so much. The story pulls you in right from the beginning. I don't normally read novels during the day (something about caring for 5 kids and house and homeschooling, ha), but I read this one. I started it at night before bed and finished it the next day. It's an easy read and perfect for the target age group. I appreciate the subtle Christian theme sprinkled throughout and clean dialogue.

We enjoyed this book so much that when Jake mentioned that he couldn't wait until fall because the sequel, The Ruby Moon, comes out then, his dad pre-ordered immediately. I have my own assumptions about aspects of the story, but I'll let you read the book and decide for yourself.

Because, trust me, you'll want to read this book yourself.    




You can connect with Shiloh Run Press through Barbour Publishing on Facebook and Twitter

You can read more reviews of this book on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.



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