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The Castle in the Attic

The Castle in the Attic

4.6 65
by Elizabeth Winthrop, Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)

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William has just received the best present of his life. It's an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, moat, and a finger-high 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!

William can't wait to play with it—he's


William has just received the best present of his life. It's an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, moat, and a finger-high 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!

William can't wait to play with it—he's certain there's something magical about the castle. And sure enough, when he picks up the tiny silver knight, it comes alive in his hand!

Sir Simon tells William a mighty story of wild sorcery, wizards, and magic. And suddenly William is off on a fantastic quest to another land and another time—where a fiery dragon and an evil wizard are waiting to do battle . . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Mrs. Phillips, who has taken care of William for years, prepares to return to England, she gives the boy a medieval castle with one knight. The knight comes to life, and William is drawn into a battle to release the kingdom from a wizard's spell. PW admired Winthrop's ``absorbing fantasy. Suspense and colorful details, as well as a gentle moral precept, make the story special.'' (8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 A satisfying quest fantasy with a strong element of modern realism which will appeal to a wide range of readers. 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 been Sir Simon's kingdom. William's pure and gentle heart enables him to triumph over both the magician and his own childish yearning to possess Mrs. Phillips. The plot is carefully constructed. William's real-life situation is a strong component of the story rather than a device whereby he can enter the fantasy world. His too-busy parents and his struggle to be mature enough to let Mrs. Phillips go are juxtaposed with his quest and struggle to defeat Alastor. Both William and Mrs. Phillips are sympathetic, well-developed characters. In contrast, William's pediatrician mother and architect father are sketchy, both in William's emotional life and in the author's realization of them. Adults may find the theme that a pure heart can triumph over evil is a bit overstated, and fantasy buffs may desire a more fully developed fantasy world, but for young readers new to fantasy this will be successful. Louise L. Sherman, Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, N.J.
From the Publisher
"An absorbing fantasy...suspense and colorful details, as well as a gentle moral precept, make the story special." -- Publishers Weekly

From the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.46(d)
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Winthrop is the author of more than twenty books for children of all ages. She has lectured on writing in schools and colleges around the country. Ms. Winthrop, the mother of two children, lives in New York City.

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The Castle In The Attic 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get get get this book is amazing i love it so much get it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought long and hard about this book... and i liked it!!! It was unique and had a special twist at the end. Honestly I didnt like Mrs. Philips. And I hated that she had to leave........ I would highly reccomend reading the sencond book......... Thanks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
William and miss phillip has been such good friends to ea ch other and his parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greatest book ever written by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was about a boy name William who has a babysitter name Mrs Phillips.She was very sick and decided to give up she's life with Will to go back to England where her brother was living.She make this desition because she have a better medical care in that country.Before living she give William a gift,this one was a castle who gas hold on on her family for dequeds.One this object there was a magical knift who was one the son of a very pawerfull king.They begin there journey to get back his place on the kindom who he ones was a prince.The kindom was controld by a bad wizard name Alestor.The knight and William will have to face some serious problem
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was outstanding.Something I could read over and over again.I read the book in gate class and we are now writing a play on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awsome i like the book alit and i hope you get it too its nice and youu will enjoy it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is one of the best books i have ever read but you need to be a fast reader if you want to read this book•its a really sweet book if you like drama and you have a big imnagation then this is the book for you
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it really really really really really really really really really really really really [5 Hours Later] really really really REALLY awesome? Respond NOW!!!!! PS: My name is Jake!
R-O-U-S More than 1 year ago
Reviews Of Unusual Size! ***Re: Ten year old William's dear friend and nanny is leaving him and returning to England and he's quite distraught about the whole thing. In an attempt to appease him and to show how much she cares for the boy, Mrs. Phillips gives William a beautiful stone and wood castle that has been in her family for generations, complete with silver knight! William is enchanted, but still quite upset over losing his best friend. When the knight comes to life in William's hand, complete with magic spell and curse that needs breaking, William sees a way to keep Mrs. Phillips a bit longer and save a kingdom in need. ***Outstanding: This is a cute children's book. I remember reading The Castle In The Attic when I was around the same age as William and desperately wishing the same thing would happen to me. William is kind of unique for the time. He's a bit needy and nerdy, but he's also a confident gymnast. The plot is a fun one, with curses, people turning to lead and dragons. ***Unacceptable: Sir Simon, the silver knight is kind of a weak character. He gets himself lost abruptly and never really accomplishes much. The villain suffers a bit too. ***Summary: An enjoyable and quick read that has held up well over the years by using the universal themes of loss, adventure and how totally awesome castles and knights are.
Book_loving_mom_of_3 More than 1 year ago
Good book for 5 to 9 years of age. I thought it might be too similar to Indian in the Cupboard, but there are different lessons to be learned here and different relationships explored. I used this as a read-aloud book with my 5-year-old twins, and they were absorbed, though I would guess a bit older child would understand more of the relationships between child and nanny, child and parents, etc. I liked that the boy did gymnastics and that the writer explored this a bit. Writing was descriptive enough to let you see and feel what is happening without bogging down. Great adventure!
storiesforchildren More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to us by a friend. Ten-year-old William, whose parents both work, is losing his beloved governess, Mrs. Phillips, who is moving back to England. As a going-away present, she gives him an old, real-looking model of a castle made out of stone and wood and a finger-high lead knight to guard it. William is certain that there must be something magical about it, and sure enough, when he holds the tiny knight, it comes alive in his hand. Sir Simon tells William that a sorcerer had used magic to steal his kingdom and turn him into lead. In fact, just before he became completely leaden, he grabbed part of the sorcerer's necklace which can make things small. William uses it to make Mrs. Phillips small so he can keep her, but after he sees how sad she is, he agrees to be made small so that he can help Sir Simon defeat the sorcerer and get the other part of the necklace that can make Mrs. Phillips normal sized again. Those who do not like books with any "magic" in them will want to avoid this one, but otherwise, besides a reference or two to drinking ale, there is nothing objectionable in this book, and there are several good character traits represented, including loyalty to friends, overcoming fears, and being sorry enough for one's mistakes to do whatever is needed to correct them. Both twelve-year-old Jeremy, to whom I read it aloud before bedtime, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a sequel, The Battle for the Castle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was pretty good. I really enjoy fantasy type books, so I thought this was good. I like the knight. I thought he was funny. If you like fantasy books, you will like this book too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My most favorite character is ¿The Silver Night¿ because, ¿The Silver Night¿ is adventurous, full of excitement and is always on the move. One of the things ¿The Silver Night¿ did in the story, The Castle In The Attic, is he has a magical spell on him that he will always be lead until¿ he met a normal 12-year-old boy named William. William somehow broke the spell and ¿The Silver Night¿ came alive. ¿The Silver Night¿ is only the size of William¿s pointer finger! That¿s small! How would you like to be that small? The cool thing about ¿The Silver Night¿ is that has a magical castle that you will shrink and can explore the castle every corner and every stone. William thinks the castle is amazing and exciting! I would love to have a castle in my attic! Would you like to have a castle in your attic? I really loved this book. It¿s exciting, adventures, interesting, and I suggest this book to anyone who loves a good book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is about a boy named William, his sitter, Mrs. Phillips, Sir Simon (otherwise known as the Silver Knight), and Alastor, the evil wizard. The plot takes place both in the present and the past. Everything began when Mrs. Phillips decided to move back to England. William was disappointed, because he really liked her, so he decided to shrink her with a little magic token. He got this token from the Silver Knight, who was part of the gift he received from Mrs. Phillips a couple of weeks before she was to leave, which was a model castle. She gave William the castle to play with, but the lead knight came to life under the special touch of William. He name was Sir Simon. The knight has to get the other half of the token back from the evil wizard, Alastor, in order to return Mrs. Phillips to her original size. William also shrunk himself so that Mrs. Phillips would not be cross with him, and to help Sir Simon to find the token. They set out on the adventure through a forest, but will they make it through the forest? Even if they do, will they be able to defeat the evil wizard? The majority of us didn't care for the ending, but that's because we like a lot of action. We really liked the action in the middle of the book (there is some fighting!), we liked the magical element of the story, and we liked all the special details that made us feel like we were inside the book! The story really grabs your attention and sometimes makes your heart skip a beat!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this fantasy book because there were a lot of twists and turns. In the boy's attic, he found a castle and he went back in time to help a knight get back his land. My favorite part was when the boy went to the bigger castle where a lord was trying to find a fool to entertain him. The boy said he knew how to please him because he knew gymnastics. Later the lord called him to his gallery of stone people to see his gymnastics. That is when the boy turned evil lord into stone by knocking the lord over using his gymnastics and snatching a disk and turning the lord into lead. The lord was so evil to his people! He turned a cat into a diagram that breathed fire. The dragon also showed the most evil pictures in his eyes to scare people so they wouldn't come near the lord's castle.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely a good opener to the whole series. It was great, though! Five stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book and i liked how it went to a fantasy world and how the little finger sized soldier came to life that was good and the book was a fantastic one overall!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Castle in the Attic A Yearling Book By: Elizabeth Winthrop 1985, 179 pp. $3.99 ISBN 0-440-40941-1 William Lawrence is a ten-year-old boy that loves gymnastics and Mrs. Phillips, his caretaker for ten years. One day Mrs. Phillips tells William that she is moving back to England to live with her brother. William is very sad about Mrs. Phillips moving away, so Mrs. Phillips gives William a moving away present. The present is a castle made of stone and wood; William suspects that the castle could be magical, and he is right. When William touches the silver knight, it turns into a real person! The knight¿s name is Sir Simon who tells William about a magical coin, an evil wizard named Alastor, and battles of magic. Suddenly William finds himself in a battle between good and evil. William must fulfill a prophecy to defeat Alastor and free Sir Simon from the spell he has been put under. This book is a wonderful book about wizardry, magic, knights, friendship, and castles. This book feeds your imagination. The Castle in the Attic is a marvelous book dealing with love and evil. This book has great details and goes at a good pace. The dialogue in this book makes you feel that you are in the book with the characters. I recommend this book for anyone that is not afraid to use their imagination. If you like this book, Elizabeth Winthrop has a sequel called The Battle for the Castle. By: A 6th Grader
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! You can NEVER put it down or forget about it! I stayed up all night reading it and LOVED it!! I've now read it 3 times!! I would recommend this book to almost anyone! This book is full of magic and mystery. You never know what will happen next!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Castle in the Attic is a good book! If you like adventures then you will like this book. I like the whole book. The book is about a little boy that gets a castle,and...well you will just have to find out the rest.