The Enchanted Castle: Complete and Unabridged (Puffin Classics)

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9780140350579: The Enchanted Castle: Complete and Unabridged (Puffin Classics)
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[MP3CD audiobook format in vinyl case.]

[Read by Johanna Ward]

Jimmy, Gerald, and Cathy hope to find adventure when they set off to explore the woods, but they get far more than they bargained for when they discover the Enchanted Castle. At first, they seem to be in a fairy tale come true, until a friend turns invisible, thanks to a magic ring she can't remove. Adventure follows adventure as they seek to control the magic--but the magic has a will of its own, and it is all they can do to keep up. Faced with sleeping princesses, magic rings, and moonlit gardens filled with enchantment, the children must use all their courage and ingenuity to control the magic and solve the mystery surrounding the Enchanted Castle.

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Review:

A plot summary makes this story sound ordinary by children's literature standards: the summer adventures of four children who discover an enchanted castle and a magic ring. But Edith Nesbit's adored classic (written in 1907) is so much more than the description suggests. Right from the start, the author plays with the idea of magic, teasing us with a sleeping princess who turns out to be a fake. Elsewhere, the magic is "real" as can be--in fact, though written nearly 100 years ago, The Enchanted Castle prefigures the magical realism of modern novels in the matter-of-fact way it weaves the uncanny into the children's everyday life. And, while few authors are confident enough to parody bad writing, Nesbit does it hilariously (and ever so gently) through one character's tendency to "talk like a book": "'To brush his hair and his clothes... was to our hero but the work of a moment,' said Gerald." Things turn scary when the Ugly Wuglies, fake people made from painted cardboard masks, old clothes, and broomsticks, come to life. But on the whole this book about enchantment--much praised by such luminaries as H.G. Wells and Noel Coward--is, simply, enchanting. (Ages 6 and older) --Richard Farr

About the Author:

EDITH NESBIT (1858-1924) lived in England and had dreamed of becoming a poet since she was fifteen years old. After her husband fell ill, it was up to her to support her small family. For the next nineteen years, she published a number of novels, essays, articles, poems, and short stories. But it was not until 1899, when The Story of the Treasure Seekers was published, that she achieved great success. Her groundbreaking style of depicting realistic, believable children quickly gained a popularity that has lasted for more than a century. She was brilliant at combining real-life situations with elements of fantasy and humour. Films such as The Railway Children have kept her stories in the public eye and her magical fantasies, including Five Children and It, continue to delight each new generation of children.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140367430: The Enchanted Castle (Puffin Classics)

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