Monday, October 2, 2017

Reviews from the Children's Section - The Enchanted Castle

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 week's book is classic but one that I've never read or really new anything much about - The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit.

The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit - Jerry, Jimmy, and Cathy stumble upon a mysterious castle with a beautiful princess asleep in the garden. The princess is really Mabel, the housekeeper's niece, who is only pretending to be royalty. But when she shows them a secret room filled with treasure where they discover a magical ring, enchantment becomes a reality.

E. Nesbit is an author I'd always known about but somehow never read any of her stories.  One of the reasons I started to set aside this day for Middle Grade books is to make time for books like this one.  I loved the magic of this story with the little girl dressed up in a princess dress pretending to be a princess and where the lines of magic and reality start to blur.  The three children are good and well behaved but still pick on each other like regular siblings which added a delightful bit of realism.

However, despite all that I found this book a little slow going.  Despite it's age I didn't find it particularly dated except for the pacing of the story.  While the children are pretty much constantly landing in one adventure or another it wasn't a book that really drew me in.  I felt like I was just hovering on the surface of the text throughout the entire read which was disappointing and frankly it took a number of days to finish because I didn't find myself able to read very much at one time without getting distracted.

While there is nothing here I would worry about my kids reading this isn't really a book I'd recommend for children either.  As for me, I'll probably give Nesbit another try because her name does seem so synonymous with children's books but going in my expectations will be much lower.  Rating:  Just Okay


  1. I've never read E. Nesbit, either, but she has been on my TBR. I'm sorry this one wasn't fabulous. I think I would struggle with the slowness, too.

  2. Hmm I haven't heard of this but that author's name is familiar. I haven't read much middle grade this year but it looks like there's a lot of good stuff out there. Whenever I pass the MG section at Barnes & Noble there are so many fun looking books!

  3. I read Five Children and It eons ago and don't remember how I felt about it. We were in the video store when Baz was little and saw the movie, and I know we rented it, but I only vaguely remember watching it, but I think we liked it. I think Eddie Izzard was the voice of It. I saw it was a free ebook and I have it to re-read.

    I did read The Book of Dragons last year, after I picked up the ebook for free, and I liked it. It is a collection of short stories, each one had a dragon in it, although not every story was about dragons. I did read a couple of them to my older charge, but I think I felt the same way about some of them... that while not inapporopriate for the younger set, maybe not that interesting to modern kiddos. I think as an adult I did enjoy most of the book, though.

    I also had picked up The Railway Children for free when I picked up the dragon ebook, thinking it was The Boxcar Children, ha ha. I just snatched up The Enchanted Castle for free and I see there are a ton of other free books by her. Maybe I will try to read one a month next year and do a special post on my MG side blog. I will link to your review if I do. Maybe we can buddy read one. Let me know. :)

  4. I really like the sound of this one and am sad it didn't draw you in.