I am excited to be sharing with you a middle school fiction book called The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe & Jerry B. Jenkins. from Shiloh Run Press. I thought this looked interesting for my daughter who is just a 9th grader (age 14), but she read one chapter and didn't seem thrilled. I asked her why, and she said that it was too captivating at the beginning. What!? I think that's the point, right? Well, what I really think is that it is an age thing. She feels like it is written for the younger crowd, so she couldn't get into it. So, I had the opportunity to read it because I couldn't see my 10 year old boy being interested in it right now(castles aren't his thing, maybe soon though). I did ask him, and he said "nah."
We received a hard back copy of The Glass Castle. I really enjoyed reading it! I actually thought it was pretty intriguing at the beginning, and wanted to read more. I found myself wanting to mark some great quotes throughout the book. It is very well written and thought provoking for a middle school book.
Here is what it is about...
It starts out with a girl named Avery and her brother walking through the woods. Avery is pretty sure they are being followed, and is trying to protect her little brother. Next thing she knows she is being captured, and her brother is gone. She ends up at a castle with other captured 13 year olds, but they are all hidden in the King's castle because the new Queen wants them all gone. Avery wants to go home, but first she has to figure out why she is there. She joins with a few of the others to help take charge of the underground network of children, and... that is where I am at in the book. Since Avery was captured she has had to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. What at first seemed like a terrible situation where nobody could be trusted had turned into a mystery that seems she is somehow involved in. I loved how the character Avery quickly adapted and rose to the challenge to figure out where she is, why she is there, who is her friend and enemy, and most of all what she could do to help. I also loved how the theme of the family runs throughout this book. Avery wants nothing more than to be back with her Dad and her brother. There was a great quote from Avery about her family that I wish I could find now, I knew I should have marked it! What a great example to this age group of the importance of family, and working together for good.
I could see this book leading to some great discussions and lessons. If I were reading this aloud to my children, which I may do with my boys someday when they are older, I would love to take the part where she has to make a crest for the "family" of children, and she in turn thinks about her own family and what her own family crest would look like. I think that would be a great opportunity to make a "family crest" with my boys for our own family, something I've wanted to do for a while. I might even do it myself first!
Personally, I loved this book. I am not done, but I am looking forward to finishing it. I have even recommended that my daughter give it another try. I think she could really like it if she would just give it more of a chance. I would highly recommend this for a middle school age child, and think it would be a great literature to include in a reading list for the school year. I'd love to see a study guide to go along with it too. Also, there are more books! This is the first in a new series. There will be another book coming in October 2016 called Ruby Moon: Thirteen book 2. I may have to continue to find out what happens!
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