Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Castle: How It Works” as Want to Read:
Castle: How It Works
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Castle: How It Works

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  123 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Take a tour of a medieval castle.

Every part of the castle has a function. Walls keep the enemy out. Towers protect the lord and the soldiers. From the moat and portcullis to the great hall and dungeon, see how a castle works as an enemy army tries to storm the walls.

Castle: How It Works is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by David Macaulay Studio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Castle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Castle

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 227)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jordan Brown
Mar 24, 2014 Jordan Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-etl-2368
Castle: How It Works
Author: David Macaulay
Reading Level: ages 6-10

Macaulay, David (2012) Castle: How It Works London: Macmillan

This book is a non-fiction look at how life was like inside a medieval castle. Also, the book focuses on the exterior and interior of the castle, and it's many defensive components. I have a particular taste for all things medieval, so this book really catches my interest.

First off, it's very informative and breaks down the infrastructure of a castle down brilliantly. T
Jeanne Adamek
Oct 04, 2015 Jeanne Adamek rated it it was amazing
An absolutely wonderful book to read to or with children that are interested in the past and castles. David Macaulay has a phenomenal way of explaining without talking down to a child. The illustrations are fantastic, very scrupulous done so that the child can follow with the pictures as well as with the words.

For me, it was the pleasure I got while looking in the bright eyes of my eight year old grandson as we were reading this together.

This book was recommended by my Goodreads friend Lorraine,
Feb 26, 2015 Jenna rated it liked it
Twin Text: The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell

I chose these texts to go together because of the obvious castle tie in that is in both of the books. I like the fact that the non-fiction book gives you a somewhat tour of a castle during their prime time of existing, while the fiction book talks about forging a castle back up to try and escape it. I feel as if David Macaulay's book would give an insight about castles that the reader probably didn't know before picking up their fiction book t
Christina Fisher
Jul 28, 2014 Christina Fisher rated it it was amazing
Castles, because they are rarely lived in anymore and provide such grandeur to behold when inside, provide a very captivating book for kids of all ages. The author, David Macaulay, gives great insight using cutaways of castles (the inside and outside of them) so that kids can see what they are truly like and what the purposes were of their different features. The illustrations are realistic and show the castle being used, so that readers will know what life was like inside a castle. The drawbrid ...more
very informative in the David Macauley style; plenty of information to keep the young reader interested, and the illustrations add tremendously.

also, no glossing in this non fiction book, e.g. infected pig is ready to be catapulted into the castle.

book will challenge the adult reader b/c there will be plenty of questions.

although focused on the early/beginner reader, the text may be too difficult, and the print is too small.

but, enjoy, high quality work, by an excellent writer.
Zether Zether
Nov 13, 2014 Zether Zether rated it really liked it
I was not looking forward to reading this book. I was reading it more out of necessity than anything. I'm writing a novel and part of it takes place in a castle. I googled castle terms, but they were all very confusing. After reading this book, I have a much better understanding of what things are called and learned a few new things.

The author wrote it like a what if kind of story, which really worked to get the information out without boring the reader. I would highly recommend this to children
Feb 12, 2014 Shelli rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book for independent young readers, filled with fun and informative facts about castle defense. Students will learn so much about what obstacles an invading army would have to overcome if they wished to lay siege on a fortress. Castle, How it Works is perfect for additional elementary history curriculum, or for a nightly reading assignment.
Aug 31, 2014 Laurie rated it it was amazing
This book fascinated our preschool and kindergarten set. Diagrams outline every aspect of a medieval castle in well drawn detail. Be prepared to answer the many questions that arise as children compare modern life and amenities to castle life. Reading and studying the book numerous times resulted in translating the drawings into amazingly well constructed sand structures! A strong contender for one of the best summer books brought home from Grandma's Library Run.
Dec 10, 2013 Janessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-chapter
Yay! A book my science-minded 8-year-old wants to read! It is hard to find a book that will keep him in his seat. But when our daily reading time was over today, he stayed put and kept turning pages. I love that this book has a higher reading level, without an overwhelming amount of text. Maccauley does an excellent job of assembling intriguing facts and infusing them with the perfect amount of story-telling. For example, he begins the book with the idea that a castle is meant to keep people out ...more
Timothy Boyd
Feb 08, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing
I know these are written for a younger audience but they are great! Incredible illustrations and information. Highly recommended to a younger reader or an older one starting a new area of intrest
Jul 14, 2015 Gabriel rated it it was amazing
I liked this because it talked about what it would be like if you were going to fight the castle. It described the fire shooting arrows. I thought that was pretty scary.
Jun 04, 2015 Oliver rated it really liked it
It is really cool how the castle works and there are so many guards. I would like to live in a castle now.
Jul 30, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finn-wren
The depiction of the castle bathroom and the "murder holes" were especially popular with the young man :)
Lu Benke
As easy readers go, this isn't bad. It's just sad that the fun and detail of Macaulay's illustrations get chopped down to the size of easy reader format. The font, too, seems to be the wrong size (too small), and the lack of white space seems to make the pages look crowded and unclear. Still, the text is fun and fascinating and informative. Seems like it would have been better to keep everything in the original format. But then there wouldn't have been a whole new series to market...
Feb 02, 2014 Ian rated it liked it
A charmingly simple little manual.
Sep 05, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Like some reviewers here, I also missed the richness and depth of Macaulay's illustrations, but there was still enough to intrigue. Also, it was refreshing in these days of political correctness to see a catapult hurling a dead, infected pig and and explanation of "murder holes." I very much like the concept of a nonfiction easy reader--the subject matter might inspire a reluctant reader to try a more challenging book about the same subject.
Dec 24, 2012 Ingrid rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how successful this will be as an easy reader, but I love it as a non-fiction title. The added color may make it more accessible to contemporary readers, but it retains all the great elements of the original. There is still the picture of the man on the toilet which was my kids favorite part, but now you can see that he pile at the bottom of he chute is brown--gross! Can't wait tot try this out with my kids.
Feb 27, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
Shelves: reader, childrens
Yea!! A Castle book just right for beginning readers. With a Lexile level of 500 this is a great read for the youngest grades.

Boys will especially like the description and drawings of the castle toilet. And the instructions on how to lay siege to the castle and breach the walls will most certainly be acted out many times, complete with catapult contents I’m sure!
Feb 05, 2013 Librariansteph rated it really liked it
The only thing standing between this book and a five star rating is my feeling that this is not really a book for a beginning reader. Easily a third grade reading level. That said, it is the best nonfiction castle book for early elementary I have ever read. And it will be appealing and informative even for those kids who are challenged by the syntax and vocabulary.
Nov 11, 2013 Pauline rated it really liked it
This book was a great fit for Robby; although not technically an 'early chapter' the content was a bit more challenging than a typical PICTURE book...he loved how descriptive the text was and noticed many small details in the illustrations. Hope to find more like this at NCTE this year.
Sara Wirth
Sep 19, 2013 Sara Wirth rated it liked it
The pictures correlate beautifully to the text. Would be a lot of fun to pick apart the illustrations with kids. My only issue was with how the text was broken up. The flow of a sentence was often disrupted, which made it hard to concentrate and understand the information.
An easy reader tour of a castle. Many vocabulary words are introduced and detailed illustrations make it easy to find the part of the castle being described in text. A fantastic book that will likely inspire further interest in the subject.
Perfect for 2nd graders - L read aloud to me, holds enough interest with a girl who loves watching Jane and The Dragon. Also we have recently watched the Narnia movie and were able to make quite a bit of connections.
Jan 20, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
A great non-fiction title for early readers interested in castles. The format was excellent, looking at the different ways castles functioned for their inhabitants both as homes and fortresses.
Christina Potter Bieloh
Sep 26, 2013 Christina Potter Bieloh rated it really liked it
Shelves: davey-books
This was a really fun and interesting book! Davey is interested in castles and found this book to be pretty fascinating. Great clear illustrations and simple engaging descriptions!
Excellent introduction to castles and the people who lived and worked in them. Good choice for younger readers, too simple for more sophisticated readers.
Apr 02, 2013 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: j-nonfiction
An easy reading version of his classic, much longer work. Elementary readers will learn a lot about castles and the people who lived in them.
I'll have to remember this book when kids ask for knights, armor, battle, medieval life, and so on. It's full of awesome details!
My favorite part of this books was the detail in the illustrations, and how they corresponded to the text.
Oct 03, 2012 kate rated it really liked it
A second-grade level nonfiction book on how a castle works. Glossary at back.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
  • Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
  • Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything
  • From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World
  • I, Galileo
  • Mrs. Harkness and the Panda
  • The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
  • Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World
  • Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller
  • Handel, Who Knew What He Liked
  • Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball
  • A Rock Is Lively
  • Seeing Symmetry
  • Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
  • Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond
  • Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England
  • Penny and Her Marble
  • Annie and Helen
David Macaulay, born in 1946, was eleven when his parents moved from England to Bloomfield, New Jersey. He found himself having to adjust from an idyllic English childhood to life in a fast paced American city. During this time he began to draw seriously, and after graduating from high school he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). After spending his fifth year at RISD in Rome on ...more
More about David Macaulay...

Share This Book