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The Castle in the Attic [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Winthrop , Trina Schart Hyman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £11.22
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Book Description

Ten-year-old William receives a wooden model of a medieval castle as a gift. It has everything he could possibly want, right down to a miniature drawbridge, a portcullis and a silver knight. In this enthralling story that weaves the everyday problems of growing up with magic and fantasy, the castle introduces William to an adventure involving magic, a ferocious dragon, a wicked wizard, and his own personal quest, where courage will finally triumph over fear.

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Product Description


"an absorbing fantasy . . . Colourful details make the story special" (Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Elizabeth Winthrop is a well-known, award-winning American author. She has written for a very wide-ranging audience, everything from picture books to adult fiction, and has more than twenty books to her credit. She also lectures on writing in schools and colleges throughout the USA. Before becoming a writer she worked as an editor in the children's department of a major publishing house. She lives in New York City.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1380 KB
  • Print Length: 137 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; 1st edition (15 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009VNM8SE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book was interesting and was fun to read 14 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
When I started reading the castle in the attic I had to get used to it, but after the first couple of chapters I got into it and I think it is very imaginative. Over the space of 3 days it was like I was living in the story. I was 9 when I read it and I would recommend it to most 8-10 year olds. I hope that Elizabeth Winthrop writes another follow up to The Castle in the Attic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  160 reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on
We are in the third grade at an all boys school and we just finished reading The Castle in the Attic. We highly recommend this book because it has magic, wizardry, knights, castles, dragons and time travel. We also enjoyed this book because some of the story is fantasy and some is reality. Each character does one special thing in the story. For example, William's special ability to defeat the dragon. The adventure was very exciting! We think the author's use of adjectives is great. Boys and girls would love this book! If you want to read this book by yourself, we recommend it to any student in the third grade and above. However, anyone over 6 years old might enjoy listening to this tale. This book is magical!
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of lying 30 Jun. 2011
By M. Heiss - Published on
I read this book out loud to my family of boys over the span of one week. They liked it very well -- even the littlest brother could follow the story, even though there are no illustrations.

It's a story of adventure and hidden strength, as a beloved nanny gives William a play castle with a surprise inside -- a miniature, living knight! The nanny and the 10-year-old child become miniaturized as well, and the adventure to rescue the kingdom from an evil wizard commences.

There was a long, slow build-up to the action in this story -- lots of school days, and afternoons in the attic, and gymnastics practices, and long discussion. Only the final 7 chapters detail the real adventure -- the first 10 are just warm-ups.

Parent notes:

*A lot of lying. A *lot* of lying. William (the child protagonist) lies almost constantly through the beginning of the book.

*Absent parents rely on a nanny so they can pursue their careers. In fact, the son makes pointed remarks about how the dad never keeps his promises.

*Great knightly values: Be compassionate to the needy. Neither squander wealth nor hoard it. Never lose your sense of shame. If questions are asked of you, answer them frankly but do not ask too many yourself. Be manly and of good cheer. Never kill a foe who is begging for mercy. Be ever loyal in love.

*William seems totally unfamiliar with the interiors of churches. He meets Sir Simon in a chapel and acts as though he has never seen a cross or smelled incense or noticed how altar candles flicker. Being in the chapel makes William feel small and quiet, and he recognizes it as a holy place, but that's it. All the praying he does consists of supplications to his nanny, spoken aloud in times of trouble, although she is far away.

*One scary scene, when William encounters the dragon, describes an illusion he sees of his nanny burning to death. Another scary scene describes the horrifying process of a person being turned to lead from the feet up.

As a parent, I give this book 3.5 stars. My kids liked the adventure and the setting of the castle and the kingdom... and truly, the final 7 chapters were very fun to read out loud. From a values standpoint, this book wouldn't be my favorite choice for modeling my children's behavior.

I prefer Mary Stewart's "A Walk in Wolf Wood" as a fictional castle adventure to be read and re-read.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy classic 8 April 2001
By EA Solinas - Published on
What I would describe as early-fantasy, a book for kids who are getting into the genre. Snappy and well-paced, the book is also dotted with sweet moments that may bring a tear to the eye.
William lives in a nice suburb with his ever-busy parents (I found it sweet how he still loves and treasures his parents, despite their frequent absence) and the nanny/maid, Mrs. Phillips. William receives shattering news: Mrs. Phillips intends to return to England. As a consolation gift, she gives him a toy castle with accompanying knight, and a tiny metal charm.
Then the knight comes to life. The tiny silver man, Sir Simon, soon befriends William as the young man goes to desperate lengths to keep Mrs. Phillips. But a knight can't forget his duty, and soon William becomes entangled in the clutches of Alastor, the evil wizard. But how can a physically unimpressive ten-year-old defeat a powerful magician?
William is an enjoyable character, made more so by his anxiety over Mrs. Phillips and general decency toward his fellow man. I also enjoyed the comparisons using his gymnastics lessons as examples of self-control and discipline.
Mrs. Phillips was a lovely character, very compassionate and caring, but firm in her intentions. Alastor was pure evil, while Sir Simon was a thoroughly likeable and decent guy, without being too perfect or anything like that. I found Calender to be a rather sorry character, and was glad of the resolution written for her.
The plot is pleasantly original, though I wish less time had been spent in "our" world. The writing style is rather ordinary, the first half a bit slow, and the descriptions somewhat underfleshed. However, the simple yet effective plot and good characterization overcome those problems. Without a doubt, kids should check out this book, and also the even-better sequel "The Battle for the Castle."
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book you'll ever read 27 Sept. 2000
A Kid's Review - Published on
I think this is great book, and if you get the time to read it, you just might find it's one of the best books you have ever read. In the beginning it is somewhat slow, but if you keep reading, the book will get a lot better and the plot will unravel. There is a little boy who gets a toy castle and a knight from his housekeeper who is moving away. After playing with the castle and the knight the kid starts to see that not everything is normal, and that his world is about to be turned upside down! I hope you read this book for I know you'll like it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Both my daughter and son enjoyed this book. 1 Feb. 2001
By Jane James - Published on
It's not overly long, and it's written in simple enough language that my 8 and 9 year old children had no trouble reading it.
It's a very engaging, sweet story, which introduces the concepts of chivalry and bravery. I actually think this book is very good for boys to read - it's about knights and fighting for one's honor, and demonstrating loyalty, but it's also about being able to cry when you need to, and being able to express love for others.
In this story, the little boy's nanny is moving away, because he's growing up and doesn't need her, and he has some trouble accepting this. I think it's a wonderful, simple way to address some of the issues all children face when approaching their teenage years.
I definitely recommend this one to parents and children.
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