|Sparrow Tree Square age recommendation: 8-11
When Roger and Ann find out that their father must take a trip on the sea for his health, they also find out that they won't be having the summer vacation they family had planned on. Instead, Roger and Ann will spend their vacation with their Aunt Katharine and cousins Jack and Eliza in Baltimore. At first Roger and Ann are naturally disappointed, but soon they find that there's plenty to enjoy in Baltimore with their cousins. For one thing, Jack and Eliza have a splendid toy castle, replete with knights and ladies to live in it. At first, the children's games are ordinary re-enactments of books and stories. But one night, the games take a sudden turn when Roger finds himself shrunk to the size of the castle and knights . . . and the castle inhabitants have come alive.
Ann, Eliza, and Jack join in on the fun quite soon. At first, the four children obey the rules of the castle and allow the magic to take its course. It's not long before Eliza and Ann have an idea to manipulate the world during the day so they can affect what happens during the night. Of course, such manipulations have disastrous results! Now, the children have to undo everything that was done to the castle in order to set the world right – but will they succeed in their quest?
Knight's Castle is Edward Eager's first book concerning Roger, Ann, Jack and Eliza. Like others of Eager's works, Knight's Castle was inspired by E. Nesbit's fantasy stories which set ordinary children amidst extraordinary occurrences. But as with all of Eager's books, Knight's Castle stands out all on its own as an excellent fantasy adventure. Eager mixes humor, excitement, and magic together with a lighthearted tone, and the result is a children's classic which will surely enchant readers of all ages.
Reviewed by Megan Friel
Also by Edward Eager: