The Castle In the Attic – Elizabeth Winthrop

    The Castle In the Attic (35th Anniversary Edition) – Elizabeth Winthrop, Holiday House, (9780823444243), c1968, 2019

Format:  Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? The classic returns with an anniversary edition which includes an introduction by the author and new cover art.  10-year old William is upset to learn that his beloved nanny Mrs. Phillips will be returning to England.  She gives him a wooden castle that has been in her family for generations as a parting gift. When William touches the metal knight, Sir Simon comes to life and tells William that he has been trapped by a spell and needs William’s help to return to his home.  A riddle on the castle door mentions a knight, a lady, and a squire making a quest. William learns that Sir Simon’s medallion can shrink things and uses it to trap Mrs. Phillips in the castle. Regretting this rash decision, William joins Sir Simon and Mrs. Phillips in the castle and sets off on a quest against the evil sorcerer Alistair.  In the end, William triumphs in his quest and realizes that he must be grown up enough to let Mrs. Phillips go. This is a classic story of fantasy that will have readers eager to read the sequel.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?    No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a book that will be enjoyed by readers of fantasy and time travel.  Hand it to readers who enjoy classic fantasy titles such as Edward Eager’s Half Magic and Lynne Reid Bank’s The Indian In the Cupboard series. Fans of tales of knights and King Arthur stories and magic will also love it. 

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary and middle school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   Yes, if you haven’t read it before!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 2/21/20           


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