Finding New Friends in Great Books: A Review of The Glass Castle

Summer is in full swing around here, which typically means gardening, playing outdoors and lots and lots of reading. I was thrilled to have the opportunity for Bookworm Beauty and I to review a book from Shiloh Run Press; Book 1 of The 13 Series: The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins (read chapter 1 here). 

As most could probably figure out by her blog name, Bookworm Beauty loves to read. She has had her nose stuck in the middle of a book since long before she knew how to read. It has been a delight to watch her love of reading grow over the years. It has been especially satisfying to watch her develop her own reading personality as she has become more selective in what she wants to devote her reading time to.

When The Glass Castle first arrived, she seemed to turn her nose up just a bit. I have noticed that she seems more disinterested in any books that I happen to suggest. Since she has not yet figured out that I have figured that out and therefore I have been having someone else suggest a book that I would like to introduce her to. It is amazing how many books she thoroughly enjoys that she otherwise would not have read simply because I, her mother, suggested it. The Glass Castle fell into the category of suggested by Mom, simply because I am the one that the book was sent to.

For more than two weeks, The Glass Castle began to collect dust awaiting its discovery. Finally, as the review deadline was fast approaching I handed her the book as I informed her that she did not have a choice in the matter… this was a school assignment and although she had two weeks to read it, she needed to start it right then.

Reluctantly, she took the book from my hand and went to her favorite reading spot, the corner of the couch that she believes belongs to her.

A few hours later, as we were getting ready to drive into town, I noticed her trying to slip her shoes onto her feet while her nose was glued to the middle of the book. The drive into town was very quiet. Hours later, I found her already snuggled into bed for the night, with her nose still implanted into the binding of the book.

Not wanting to distract her in any way, I did not draw any attention to her body language that seemed to scream I can’t put this book down!

The following day, after lunch, Bookworm Beauty bounded into the kitchen and handed me The Glass Castle, declaring, “BEST BOOK EVER! And major cliff hanger Mom… and I have to wait until this fall to find out what happens! UGH!”

Hmmmm, do I mention anything about how I told her so…? Or how she neglected the book for a couple of weeks before I had to force her to read it…? Or how just maybe I may have some good tastes in reading material too…? Better not… “So it was a good book after all, huh? What kind of book would you compare it to?”

“Uhmmm, NOTHING! There are no other books like it to compare it to… it’s really one of a kind.”

“Really? One of a kind? What’s it about?”

I could not possibly retain all of the details that she threw out at me at 60 words per minute…

“It’s about a 13 year old girl named Avery that is walking with her brother and she hears a noise so they hid. When she thought the threat was gone they began heading home then suddenly she wakes up and she’s in a cart. She doesn’t know where her brother is or where she even is. She only sees an old lady pushing the cart. She takes her to a glass castle where she will need to work behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. There are only 13 year old kids at this castle. She ends up being there close to a year and works as an organist for the King. She is also a storekeeper and becomes known as the Queen of the other 13 year old kids.

Avery is surrounded by many unanswered questions. Kate (the only one that was not 13) was the old lady’s granddaughter. She teaches Avery everything she needed to know to live in the castle but when Avery asks about the purpose of living in the castle and other questions, Kate simply states that Avery will find the answers to her questions later because she isn’t ready to know those things yet.

As Avery settles into the castle, she discovers secret tunnels to the underground world and decides to venture out into them and she steps into the darkness…”

Then what happens?” I ask.

“That’s it Mom! I have to wait until FALL to find out! See what I mean!? CLIFFHANGER!”

It looks like we have some books to buy in the upcoming months as Bookworm Beauty will have the privilege of experiencing what it is like to have to wait for each additional book in a series to be released! Seems to bring back many memories of waiting months and months for the next book in the Left Behind Series.

This book fits my idea of a good book for a middle schooler.

***Book 2: The Ruby Moon available Fall 2016***

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