The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
By: Janet Fox
# of pages: 388
Something is not right at Rookskill Castle, a rundown Scottish manor shrouded in mystery. The castle is a temporary boarding school for children escaping the Blitz, but soon it’s clear there is something terribly wrong. There are clues hinting that a spy is in the house, and there are undeniable signs of a sinister magic. When the children in the castle’s temporary boarding school begin disappearing one by one, it’s a race against the clock for twelve-year-old Kat Bateson, her two younger siblings, and their new best friend.
My opinion: This book’s title immediately intrigued me and is the reason why I added it to my TBR list last year! I don’t typically read modern children’s literature, but I think it’s good to read some every once in awhile, especially since my oldest is 8 and will begin reading longer chapter books in the next couple of years.
This story follows a 12 year old girl named Kat who, along with her younger brother and sister, go to stay at a newly opened boarding school in Scotland to escape the Blitz of London in WWII. The boarding school is located in an old keep owned by a distant relative of Kat’s family. Kat has a practical and logical personality, but soon has a hard time understanding what exactly is happening in Rookskill Castle. However, the safety of the students depends upon her figuring out what is going on.
I was pleased by the way the entire story was rounded out and came together. I feel like a lot of children’s lit doesn’t always make sense and the “dots” don’t always connect. Authors tend to jump around and even contradict the narrative in order to make the story move the way they want. However, the sequence of events and the main character’s thought patterns were consistent in this book. Of course, this is a children’s novel and it is still written as such. I didn’t connect with the characters and wasn’t drawn into the story. I don’t think the average adult reader would really love this book, but I think it would be a great read for kids. It’s somewhat creepy, but not too suspenseful or complicated.
Why I gave this book 3/5 stars: Well written and unique story, didn’t capture my attention as an adult. I recommend for kids between the ages of 10 and 14.