Childrens Books

Review: Battle for Elizabeth Winthrop’s Castle

My children enjoyed The castle in the attic by Elizabeth Winthrop, so we decided to listen to the sequel, The Battle of the Castle. Both kids gave the book a thumbs up and I was amused enough by the book to keep listening to it.

The summary

William took a magical journey back six hundred years with his nanny, Mrs Phillips, in the first book, The Castle in the Attic. He encountered Sir Simon and defeated the villain, Alastor. This book begins with William being two years older and Mrs. Phillips sent him a birthday present, the Janus charm used in the first book. The charm can be used to shrink and de-shrink things, animals, and people. Then, if these shrunken people spend the night in William’s attic castle, they wake up in the past. The attic has disappeared and a forest is found outside the castle.

William and his friend Jason bring their bikes back to the attic, shrink down and go on an adventure. They meet Sir Simon as he is about to leave for a tournament, and they stay in his castle. They spend time with a boy and a girl at the castle and together. The young girl tells them an omen that her grandmother, Calendar, kept repeating before she died. Sir Simon sent Calendar back to the convent because he thought she was mad and he didn’t believe in omens. Few believe it, but Calendar’s granddaughter does. Jason and William believe in it too.

Discussion topics

New technology: Children are interested in bicycles. They have never seen them before. How would you react if someone from the future brought you something that you had never seen before?

Human behavior: Some people panic in an emergency. Some people don’t panic, seem to gain clarity, and lead through tactile situations. What type of person are you? Is this a trait you can change?

Human behavior: Why did the little rats turn on the big rat? Would humans behave the same way if they found themselves in this type of situation?

Swimming: Is it a good idea to go out on a boat? And when you can’t swim? And if you are with people who can swim?

Rats: What can rats really do? Can rats really gnaw on walls? Can they eat whole animals? Is a rat dangerous? How many rats does it take before rats are dangerous?

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