Now this is a change of pace right – a book review? Ah, maybe not.
Miss E and I have read The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins published by Shiloh Run Press. Definitely a different kind of book for me. Miss E on the other hand – this is more up her alley.Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins, the authors, have created a Christian fiction book for young teens that is pretty full of suspense, twists, turns, imagination, and strong characters. Mrs. Priebe is a writer who wear a large number of other hats. Considering that, I am impressed with this book! A writer who also works for another writer (who happens to be the other author of this book), you might also find her speaking at retreats or conferences. Mr. Jenkins is evidently a well-known author but I admit – I have not read any of the books of his popular Left Behind series. He has published over 180 books and runs a Christian Authors Guild.
The Glass Castle is a story full of suspense and mystery. Avery has just turned 13. For her birthday, she takes her brother Henry out for a walk, disobeying her father’s instructions. While on their walk, the unimaginable happens – they are kidnapped by a strange old lady and separated. The old lady takes Avery to an unusual place full of more questions than answers and Avery doesn’t know where Henry ends up. After dumping her out at the feet of a number of children, the old lady leaves.
Two young folks step up to help Avery adjust to her new life. They are kind and helpful and watch over her. There’s only one problem – Avery does not want to adjust and fights against accepting this place as her new home. She is determined to find her brother and go home to her father, with new resolve to not disobey again.
The more Avery searches to find a way to escape and locate Henry, the stranger everything becomes. First off, everyone around her is 13. Why? Then Avery realizes that she is in a castle, hidden out-of-sight with the king and soon-to-be-queen not even knowing they are around. Or maybe the queen does? And is that dangerous? As she explores, Avery has to come to grips with the fact that her mother knew A LOT about this castle and shared it with Avery when she was a young girl. Through rhymes and songs and poems, she taught Avery where things are, who people are, how to get around, where things are located, and more. But why? How did her mother know? And what is Avery going to do with this information? Can she use it?
As she struggles to find answers, things are becoming more and more dangerous for the whole group of children hidden in plain sight in the castle. Can Avery escape? Can she help the other children as well? With her friends Kate, Tuck, and Kendrick, can they do something?
Personally, I wouldn’t call this a Christian fiction book. There are tidbits of Christian morals and Biblical advice, but not much. Don’t go into this book thinking it will help develop Christian ideals for your child or yourself. There is not much in it for that. It is a simple read, full of suspense and changing ideas. The amount of insinuation about evil intents, possible murder, kidnapping, and more definitely warrants a thought before sharing this with children younger than about 11 or 12.
Know going in that you will need to read the upcoming, not-yet-published books to have any idea where the story line is going to go. I don’t like cliff-hanger endings to books so just be aware that this one doesn’t resolve anything before the end of the book.
I think it could easily be read by a 4th grader with no issues. Miss E, a 6th grader, read this easily in a single day, so it is not a difficult book. It was probably too easy as far as the reading goes but the content – I wouldn’t really want a child too much younger reading due to the themes. Miss J, age 7, thinks it sounds interesting from the title but there are too many hints at sinister things in the book for me to want to read it to her.
Miss E’s Take on Things:
There are four main characters: Avery, Kate, Tuck and Kendrick. They have been kidnapped and locked in a castle. They can’t leave so Avery tries to figure out where the passageways are and where her mother is. I would recommend it for mostly girls, about age 12, since it’s main character is a girl. It was easy to read so I think even slower readers could read it.
Final Thought: If you like suspense and being drawn into a story line, this book is for you. Just be prepared to need to read the next one that isn’t quite to the shelves yet.
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