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The Castle in the Attic

(The Castle In The Attic #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  16,744 ratings  ·  682 reviews
One of the classic fantastical adventures of all time!

William has just received the best present of his life—an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, a moat, and a fingerhigh knight to guard the gates. It’s the mysterious castle his housekeeper has told him about, and even though William is sad she’s leaving, now the castle is his! Willia
Paperback, 179 pages
Published November 1st 1994 by Yearling (first published September 1985)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,744 ratings  ·  682 reviews

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Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: moms with boys or boys under 14
Shelves: read-with-kids
I just read this to my 2 boys (ages 6 & 4) for a bedtime read & I was a little surprised at how much they loved it. It's about a boy who has an adventure with a play castle & knight which come to life. It isn't a book you have to edit at all in the reading & it's captivating to any little boy who wishes he could be a hero. I can't even tell you how fast those turkeys got ready for bed while we were reading this, I hope I can find another one that captures their attention as much ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This is one of those childhood books that really sticks with you long after you read it. It's a little dated but still a fantastic story.
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
So I took a trip back to my elementary/middle school years with this one. I've read it before in 5th grade, but reading it again, I think I would recommend it for even younger kids than that. It's a pretty good story, but the plot is paced a little strangely. The book is halfway over before they even go into the castle and on their adventure, which makes it seem to me like the adventure part moves much more quickly than it should. I would have liked less of William's whining and self-pity and mo ...more
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
I remember this book being read to me by my teacher in 2nd grade and being awed by how awesome and compelling it was. Now as a young woman who just picked up this book again years later the magic still has not faded and is just as wonderful as it was all those years ago.

If you want to read a book that is very entertaining and will keep you turning the pages, this is the book for you. I know this book isn't obscure, but it totally needs to get more attention! The funny thing about this book when
Jakk Makk
Mar 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I lost interest at about forty minutes. Seemed well written. DNF.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids 2nd grade and up, parents and teachers
Recommended to Jill by: I Found it at the Library
The Castle in the Attic
by Elizabeth Winthrop
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great Fantasy, October 15, 2008

I enjoyed this book so much, I have listened to it twice.

William is ten-years-old when he finds out that his house-keeper/nanny is going to leave him. She says,"He is old enough to take care of himself now." William is afraid that with busy parents he will be left alone.
Before she parts for England, Mrs. Phillips gives William a very special gift. She
I remember reading this as a child, though I don't remember if it was for an assignment or on my own. It was certainly the type of book I enjoyed then. As an adult, I can see the elements that appealed to me as a child, but I can also see some of the things I wouldn't have considered as a child. For one thing, though the main character is a boy, this is not a book for most boys. William is a very sensitive boy, who plays gymnastics, and cries periodically. The story is mostly about the castle he ...more
Danica Midlil
Dec 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
I think this book is an excellent example of what adults think kids SHOULD like in books. All the Lessons are very heavy-handed and moralistic. The main character forever self-examines all his mistakes and regrets them earnestly. Everything this kid did was earnest! There was never a moment of silliness or sarcasm!
I do not buy that this kid is ten. No way! He comes across as years younger than ten. Perhaps a believable seven?
I think getting an intermediate grade boy to read this all the way th
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Children
I read this in elementary school and adored it. Somebody else described it as being "magical," and for a kid I would agree. Castles and knights and fantasy kingdoms-- the stuff kids' dreams are made of. I read it again in college for an adolescent lit. class, and, of course, as an adult it didn't have the same appeal. But, hey, it wasn't written for adults in the first place, so big deal if my grown-up mind wasn't as hooked as the child of yesteryear. I still give it four stars, merely because t ...more
Lars Guthrie
Aug 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting yet odd little fantasy. William (definitely not Bill, or god forbid, Billy) is a sensitive and a bit of a loner. He has one other friend in his fifth grade class, and that connection derives from their shared social status. Outcasts.

William is dreamy, but also disciplined and driven as a gymnast. His parents are achievers and doers who have the best intentions, and very little time, for him.

The warmth in William's life comes from the English nanny his parents have hired, Mrs. Phi
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
Ten-year-old William is so distraught at the idea of his beloved housekeeper/nanny Mrs. Phillips returning to England that, with the aid of a magic token, he shrinks her into the size of the toy knight which inhabits a wooden castle that has been passed down in her family for generations. To undo his rash deed, William must be miniaturized himself and accompany the silver knight, Sir Simon, on a quest to overthrow Alastor, a wicked magician who long ago usurped the throne of what should have bee ...more
Elizabeth McDonald
This is one of those books that is always sitting on library shelves but that I never read--I just was never drawn to it. After reading it now, that feeling is confirmed. Admittedly I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I were eight and had read the whole thing in an afternoon instead of being 27 and spending three days of commuting to get through it... but it just didn't sparkle in any way.

Part of this may have been the quite mediocre audiobook presentation. It was full-cast, but the
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Castle In The Attic” by Elizabeth Winthrop missed my radar when I was a child in 1985. It looked fun, adventuresome, inventive and certainly is. I look forward to obtaining its sequel. It is different than anyone might imagine. From the beginning, readers are unexpectedly encroached by such resonant emotion, we understand the ill-advised behaviour of the boy we follow. Career parents of William, a 10 year-old American, engaged a nanny all of his life. She hails from England and decides to r ...more
Oct 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Indian in the Cupboard fans, someone who feels racist recommending ndian in the Cupboard
Recommended to Jess by: fantasy "In the House" project
William receives a large medieval castle model and a knight figurine. While playing, the Silver Knight comes to life and puts William on the path to an Arthurian quest.

William is a little weepy and his attachment to Mrs. Phillips little long-winded (that's not the word but I can't think of one that fits and doesn't reflect something else.) Slow moving at the start but the quest part kicks it up.

I've heard it's enjoyed by elem. kids.

Obviously owes something to Indian in the Cupboard
Maggie Stiefvater
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Indian in the Cupboard
Recommend this one for fans of THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****
Dec 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites from childhood. I need to read it again, but I remember loving it. I was probably in the fourth or fifth grade and I had to read this for a book report. I remember being so caught up in the story about a boy who enters his toy castle to fight evil. Obviously the details escape me, but check it out it's great.
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this book is really for any one who is in an adventerous mood. with this book being all about wizards and battle. William{the main character} finds this out when his housekeeper leaves him a present, a magical stone castle! you really need to read it to get the feel of medieval times.
tipy (tommy)
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
I did not like this book. It was exiting in different spots. Even I enjoyed this book I will give it a two. I liked different spots. this is a ok book. And so " I SAY SO LONG BOOK".
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Just finished a delightful revisit with an old friend! A student of mine had exhausted his current line of reading material, and though he's very advanced, he sees higher level reading material as disinteresting (he can comprehend it, but lacks the maturity for it), so I found this oldie but goodie on my shelf. He finished it in a day and said he noticed a sequel on the AR website. So, I ordered it and got it today. That sent me to my chair to enjoy this story once more, so that I, too can read ...more
Melissa Cran
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful, fast read. I loved this story. The transitions between the worlds is a little fuzzy but otherwise it was a page turner.
Really cute story! It reminded me a lot of The Indian in the Cupboard, only it's medieval themed. :) Freaking cool, huh?
Snazzy Reads
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was better when I read it in 4th grade.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
While I don't consider this classic literature, it is a very nice book and I would highly recommend it. The characters are likable and the story is interesting. While I don't want to give anything away, the story has a lot of different elements that make it interesting, including magic, time-travel, stranger in a strange land, and the main character's sport of gymnastics figures prominently. Central to this story though is the main character's love of his nanny, which drives the entire premise o ...more
Lisa Bittle
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun book about a boy growing up and having to face the fears of letting go of his nanny. He learns these lessons through his adventure of spending time with a silver knight.
Yvonne Reynders
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
My kids loved it! And I enjoyed it too.
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
16-17 school year with L & N.

I give it 3. Kids would give it 4. They really liked it. I thought it was meh. But I do remember loving it when young as well.

It's a fun little read but it doesn't hold a candle to what we're reading now "Wind in the Willows"...lots of things lacking. I particularly thought that what William did to Mrs. Phillips was abominable.
Alison Olsen
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The cover is what drew me in from the beginning. I remember reading this in 3rd grade maybe. I was enthralled with the concept of a magical castle that came to life. I tried really hard to make my barbie house come to life, but oddly enough that never occurred. While reading this I forgot how slow the beginning was. When the excitement and action finally started it was so fast paced and just awesome. Now I remember why I was so obsessed with being a hero. William jumps right into the adventure w ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read for students in 3rd-7th grade. I think that it should be a read aloud for 3rd-4th grade due to the big words. I think this will be a great mystery book for children in 5th-7th grade, they would really enjoy it.
Its about a 10 year old boy named William who lives in New York with his Nanny, Mrs. Phillips. Mrs. Phillips plans on moving back to England, but William doesn’t want her to leave. Mrs. Phillips gives William a gift, its her old wooden castle that has been passed
Ryan Hatch
I'm trying to review this in context of who it is for and not for what it is. It is written so poorly, it has the worst pacing and just seems to jump from scene to scene with almost no transition. We're supposed to care for the nanny and the knight with almost no conversation or description to give us any sort of emotional connection. The plot has major holes. I can't believe the editor didn't just tear this apart. That being said, I am a product of what books like this can do for a very y
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ELIZABETH WINTHROP is the author of over sixty works of fiction for all ages.

Her most recent picture book, LUCY AND HENRY ARE TWINS, a picture book for toddlers with illustrations by Jane Massey, was published by Two Lions in 2015. Publishers Weekly called MAIA AND THE MONSTER BABY, published by Holiday House, a story of "two winning female characters with a message about friendship and girl power

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The Castle In The Attic (2 books)
  • The Battle for the Castle (The Castle in the Attic, #2)