Book Review: The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins

It's summer reading time! While we aren't participating in much of a formal reading program this year, my kids do have a goal to read 25 books before the end of the summer. Two of my boys have just finished reading The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins from Shiloh Run Press. They were both very excited about this read, and they are already asking about a 2nd book for a series!

(You may be familiar with Jerry B. Jenkins from the Left Behind books. I wasn't very familiar with them upon having my kids read this, so just note that it is not in anyway related to the story line. You can read this book without having had any previous experience with any other series. You should also know that, while there is reference to God and protection, it's not an overtly Christian book. Those who read it shouldn't find it to be stressing any particular denomination or theology; it's just an inspiring read that acknowledges God's hand in our lives -- through the faith of the characters, not with any specific narration from the author.)

Now, what was the book about? It's a rather interesting story line. As kids are more and more interested in "secret" and "mysterious" happenings, it's appropriate that my boys were really into the story line of this book The main character, a girl who is kidnapped, is forced to live in a castle with other kidnapped children. All the kids know in the beginning is that one of the children is wanted dead as they may be heir to the throne. The story is filled with all the detail of castle living with the intrigue of "who is beind this?" and lots of secret underground tunnels. In a nutshell, it's a fantasy tale that was exactly what my boys were looking for.

Both my 12-year-old and 9-year-old boys read this. They spent the entire weekend devouring it. It was a bit over 250 pages, so we were able to count it as two books for our reading program (which had a 125-word requirement for books.)

As far as who it's intended for, I would think kids 10 and up could handle it. It is interesting enough for older kids, though, and even adults would probably enjoy it. There are some intense parts in the book, but nothing that kids who are used to adventure can't handle. An example was when the queen’s jewels were given to a woman on the street as an act of charity, but the next day, the woman was hanged for theft. It's a story that clearly defines a villain (although you aren't sure who it is at first.) Typical good vs. evil story line here....

If you give this book to your kids -- which I highly recommend you do -- note that they may not want to do anything else until they finish. It's one that they can't put down! I think it would be great for taking along on a car or plane trip. It's also a great bedtime read!

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