Castle In The Air


Abdullah is a young merchant whose life up to now had been simple and happy as he searched for a way to please his family. A merchant sold him a magic carpet which had seen better days. One evening while he was walking in a luxorious garden he met and fell in love the princess Flower-in-the-Night.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers will be captivated on page one of this exciting, funny, and imaginative offering.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

When I opened to the first page, I noticed the chapter headings: “In which Abdullah buys a carpet,” “In which Abdullah is mistaken for a young lady,” and “Which is rather full of princesses.” Quite instantly the tasteful, frank humor of Diane Wynne Jones draws in the reader like a spell. Rather than exaggerating the magical side of the story, Jones told the tale as if she was merely recounting her favorite way of eating cereal. This delightful way of making magic seem like everyday life creates a world both entirely believable and entirely unbelievable. Every character has a purpose, and every character returns in the finale in a completely unexpected yet wholly needed way. Thank you, my dear Abdullah, for taking me on a magic carpet ride to a world filled with babies-turned-kittens, cowardly genies, flowery carpet merchants, house-sized djinns, lives hidden in nose rings, and one very angry young princess. I recommend Castle in the Air to all those who have the slightest speck of humor, and perhaps even that is not needed to find oneself in a marvelous fantasy of fantastic proportions.

Parent Reaction

Having successfully published more than 30 fantasy/mystery books, the author continues to keep her readers on the edge of their seat. The author knows the genre inside and out; I would give it 8 of 10 stars.

Type of Book:
This is a fascinating and adventurous story in the tradition of the Arabian Nights tales. This is an option for readers who need high interest / low readability books.
Educational Themes:

This book is written to provide reading material that will appeal to teen readers. To be a successful writer in this genre, the material needs to be a little zany and bizarre. Authors who expect to write for this genre have to laugh a lot.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
14 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. I would buy this as a gift for a teen, and I would also recommend it for the classroom, school, and public library.

Title Castle in the Air
Author Diana Wynne Jones
Publisher Greenwillow Books © 2008
ISBN 9780061478772
Material Hard Cover
Genres Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery
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