Tuesdays at the Castle, by Jessica Day George;
Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers:
New York, 2011; $16.99
Jessica Day George’s Tuesdays at the Castle is a wonderful, heart-pounding story about a young girl who needs to protect her home, the Castle Glower. When an evil man named Khelsh tries to take over the castle, it is up to Celie to stop him.
In this story, I felt that I could relate a lot to Celie because we are both eleven years old. In the beginning of the story, Celie wishes people would treat her like an adult, not a young girl. She is brought down by the way her siblings don’t treat her as an equal. I could definitely understand how she felt. Even though I am the oldest child in my family, there are times when I feel that I am not being told certain information, because people think I may not understand it, just what Celie feels in the story. For example, when Rolf was sitting on his throne, looking depressed and frightened, Celie asked what was going on. In reply, her sister Lilah told her that she would never understand. Celie was very hurt by what Lilah said, and thought, how could she not understand something if she didn’t even know what it was?
Despite everybody thinking Celie is not mature, she possesses a certain power, a power to almost control Castle Glower. For example, if Celie trips and falls off the balcony, the Castle will make sure she has a soft landing. The Castle does not do this to anyone else, unless it is someone very close to Celie. The Castle likes Celie the best, which makes her feel special. It must feel extraordinary for Celie to know that the Castle has a special relationship with her, and only her. I’m glad the author chose to write that the Castle liked Celie the best, because it seems like someone really understands her and cares for her. Of course her parents and siblings care for her, but her connection with the Castle is different, more touching and valuable.
One part of the story I found to be particularly good was the part in which Celie and her siblings started pranking the Council members, who had betrayed the royal family and supported the evil Khelsh. I tend to like a little bit of humor, so this part was perfect for me! I especially liked the prank where Celie and her siblings stole the Council members’ clothes and loosened the stitching. I laughed out loud at the part when Lord Feen raised his hand to speak, and the clothing ripped right under his armpit. The way the author described his embarrassment was hilarious!
At first, it was a little confusing to follow the story when the author was explaining about the different rooms Castle Glower had, and how it would add new rooms and take away old rooms. I had to re-read some parts of the description of Castle Glower and was a little disoriented when the description would change every so often due to the addition or loss of a room. That was one of the only faults I felt the story had.
Tuesdays at the Castle was a lot of fun to read, and I enjoyed it very much. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a well-written, fanciful, fast-paced story with a dash of humor!