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The Castle in the Attic


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About the Author

Elizabeth Winthrop is the award-winning author of books for all ages, including The Battle for the Castle and Counting on Grace, available in Yearling editions. She lives in New York City and the Berkshires.


Gr 3--7‘Another entry in the Words Take Wing series of audiobooks, The Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop (Holiday, 1993) takes listeners into the world of William and Jason, two boys entering the turbulent years of adolescence. In this sequel to The Castle in the Attic, William decides to take Jason into the toy castle. Their adventure includes fighting a gang of human-sized rats who are eating everything in their wake. There is a wonderful passage in which listeners get a glimpse of the destruction being caused by the rats as they eat humans, animals, and machines‘perfect for horror lovers. Children and adult readers are used for the characters; the author is the narrator. The actors who read the parts of Jason and William bring a ring of truth and reality to the story as it deals with the struggle between childhood and adolesence and with coming to terms with being comfortable with oneself. The different voices for each of the characters heightens the sense of adventure. This audiobook makes a great companion to Listening Library's audio version of Dealing with Dragons (March 1997, p. 142).‘Linda W. Braun, formerly Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library System, Boston

"An absorbing fantasy...suspense and colorful details, as well as a gentle moral precept, make the story special." -- Publishers Weekly

An author admired for realistic novels, Winthrop presents an absorbing fantasy about William Lawrence, 10. When Mrs. Phillips prepares to return to her native England, William grieves. She has taken care of him through the years while his parents have been away at work. Mrs. Phillips's parting gift to the boy is a medieval castle, authentically complete, but with only one small figure, a knight. Picking up the knight, William is thrilled when it comes to life. The knight tells of the times when a wizard had spellbound all the king's subjects and unsurped the throne. But William is more interested in the tiny man's magic amulet and he uses it to shrink Mrs. Phillips, to keep her in the castle. Then his conscience insists that he miniaturize himself and join the two in the fight to undo the wizard and restore the kingdom. Suspense and colorful details, as well as a gentle moral percept, make the story special. (812)

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