One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday. While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases. This month's book is Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George which is the sequel to one of my very favorite reads from last year - Tuesdays at the Castle.
Wednesdays in the Tower (Castle Glower #2) by Jessica Day George
Blurb: A castle that is constantly rearranging itself, and a young royal family sworn to protect it... Celie, Rolf, and their beloved Castle Glower are back in this exciting sequel.
Strange things are afoot in Castle Glower: new rooms, corridors, and even stables keep arriving, even when they aren't needed. Celie's brother Bran, the new Royal Wizard, has his hands full cataloguing an entire storeroom full of exotic and highly dangerous weapons, while Celie has her hands full . . . raising the creature that hatches from a giant egg she finds! Will they be able to find out what's making the Castle behave this way in time?
My Thoughts: The first book in this series was one of those books that just felt absolutely magical. I loved the concept of the constantly changing castle and the kids fighting to save it so much. I was really excited to continue with the series to find out what happens next. I don't feel like this one pulled me in quite as much quite as quickly. Because Celie was forced to keep things secret we lost a bit of the teamwork element which I had really enjoyed. As well the castle, while still magical, wasn't as much as a character and the focus was more on figuring out what was going on with it instead of it being an ally. It did take a few (very short chapters) but once I got used to the changes I was fascinated. Just where had these rooms been? What is the history of the castle and why is it so determined to keep the new addition a secret? I also really enjoyed the bond between Celie and Rolf. I didn't feel like we saw as much of him in the first book and I really liked how his more practical nature balanced out Celie's dreaminess a bit. Though it did start a bit slower for me once I was in I was fully in and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It does end on a slight cliffhanger. The bulk of the plot in this book is resolved there is a new adventure starting at the very end. Luckily the 3rd book is out so you can just go on and have it ready! Rating: Very Good
As a parent I really had no issue with this one. While there is some deception it's not particularly terrible and it is necessary. As well Celie really wants to be truthful. It doesn't lapse into preachiness which could put off younger readers - it's simply a great adventure story with some magic. I think it would be wonderful for readers who are 8 and up.