Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}

One of the things we love to do in our house are read-out-louds with books.  When the opportunity came up to receive The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe & Jerry B. Jenkins, in exchange for my honest review, I just knew that it would be perfect for our group reading! Many thanks to Shiloh Run Press for sending us the book!

{Synopsis} The Glass Castle 

Avery is a spirited, adventurous, newly-turned 13 year old girl in medieval-ish times who gets kidnapped, along with her three year old brother, and taken to live in a castle with other children her own age.  
These children all live and work in the castle behind the scenes and without adults.  But Avery is not like these children.  They are all orphans and Avery has parents... at least a father, her mother vanished years ago.
If that is not mysterious enough, what's with the sickly King, his wretched finace Angelina, and the supposed missing heir to the King's throne?  How will Avery free her self, her brother and everyone else?
In this page-turning story, you find out all those answer and more in this mystery packed story!  Along with solving the questions at hand, Avery also learns so much about life, leadership, friendship, family, and being where ever it is one finds themself for a reason and a purpose.

We Began Our Journey: 
     We opened up our shipping box and were immediately drawn to the cover art on this hardbound book.  One by one my kids read the back, slipped through the book itself and started barraging me with "when we will start!?" 

     The Glass Castle is listed as juvenile fiction with a target age of 10-14.  Thee text was a good size for young readers (and aging Mama eyes) and the line spacing was enough for it to not be crowed but also close enough to not look like an early reader.  The book has a total of 256 pages contained within 41 short chapters (each chapter was about 4-7 pages in length). 
     For read-out-louds, my kids all make tea and we gather into the living room and I read.  Sometimes we pass the book around too, but usually this is my time to read to them.  9 out of my 10 kids all gathered to listen; my eldest had college work to do.  So, kids ages 6-15 all gathered to hear the tale.  I will state, though, that sometime the 6 and 7 year old were more impressed with the sunshine and bird calls from out yonder and so I sent them off the make their own adventures once their hot cup of happiness was done.
     We were all drawn into the story from the get go and after every chapter the kids begged for "just one more!" with eager looks on their faces.  It was nice that the story had good flow and do-able chapters.  
What We Thought of This Book:
     The story had many wonderful qualities right off the bat!:
  • Suspenseful but not  scary
  • Mysterious
  • Positive character traits were shown
  • Strong female role models
  • Strong male role models
  • Action
  • Positive/Negative behaviors and how they affect others
  • "Bad guys" were not "scary horrible", they were just.... the bad guys.
  • Christian in context
     There were also some things we could have done without:
  • There is the start of romance between Avery and Tuck.  I wish they would have left this out as we are talking about 13 yearold children.  There is no inappropriate touching or conversation but it is made very clear that Avery notices Tuck and is stirred by the feelings (as foreign as they are) that she seems to have for him.  Seeing it that this is book 1 of a long series (book two is not out yet), you can see were the foundation is being laid for a relationship.  
  • There is quite a bit of "sassiness".
  • There are "mean-girls" and I just don't like them.  Like full on, stero-typical, "public school" mean-girls.  I understand why they are there but don't like the way they talk to people.
  • Which leads to my last gripe.  The way all these 13 year olds talk to eachother is sooooo.... atypical, "public schooly", tween-agery.  I get it, I understand why.  I just hate it.  My kids don't talk like that, and you want to know why?  Because we don't let them.  I am not raising "tweens/teens" I am raising young adults- it's biblcal.  Ok, rant over.
     With that said, the positives far out-weigh the negatives (which are manageable).  Everyone loved the story!  About halfway through they were already asking if there would be a sequel!  I liked everything but the romancy-ish bit.  I loved how God was weaved into the story making the "christian stuff" real and seamless.

Heres what the kids say"

H15g  "I thought it was a very creative and exciting story.  I would have read it even on my own, although I would have finished it quickly."

JO14b  "I thought it was good and it captured my attention.  At first I wasn't that into it and then as my Mom kept reading and the story kept getting more and more interesting.  I couldn't wait for reading hour!"

M13g  "I thought the story line was really good.  I liked how it said the castle worked and loved imagining it all.  It was exciting!"

C12b  "I liked it because it was a story that all of us were into, it captivated all of our age groups.  I also liked the describing words the author used because it made a good image in my head of what was going on."

Ch11g  "I thought it was an interesting storyline that got my attention easily.  I thought Avery sounded very brave, like my sister M13."

A10b  "I liked it a lot because it was easy to imagine everything.  The author express the characters and objects really nice.  It was a pretty mysterious story.  My favorite part is where Avery almost burned down the kitchen trying to cook!"

J9b  "It is a good story and pretty funny too.  Sometime the kids do things and it make me laugh."

I am one of a few who read the book, so, go check out the other crew reviews!:
The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}
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