The Glass Castle (Thirteen Series #1)

The Glass Castle (Thirteen Series #1)

by Trisha Priebe, Jerry B. Jenkins


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634093897
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Series: Trisha Priebe's Thirteen Series , #1
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 274,406
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 10 - 15 Years

About the Author

Trisha White Priebe is a wife, mom, writer, and shameless water polo enthusiast. She serves as an assistant to Jerry B. Jenkins, speaks at retreats, and enjoys assisting her husband in youth ministry. She wrote Trust, Hope, Pray: Encouragement for the Task of Waiting and A Sherlock Holmes Devotional: Uncovering the Mysteries of God.   

Read an Excerpt

The Glass Castle

By Trisha White Priebe, Jerry B. Jenkins

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 Trisha White Priebe
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63409-762-8



Avery dragged her three-year-old brother behind a boxwood bush and listened for footsteps in the brittle leaves. She couldn't be sure which was louder — the person on their trail or her own heart, galloping like a stallion in her ears.

With one hand over Henry's mouth, Avery looked down at the nicest dress she owned. Not only had she torn the ruffles and destroyed the hem, but the white linen stood out in the shadowy woods, making her an easy target.

If she survived this afternoon and made it home tonight — and that felt like a giant if — her father would demand to know why her dress was stained with grass and mud and tinged with blood.

She would tell him the truth.

How could she possibly have known that a simple walk in the woods would turn dangerous? It was her thirteenth birthday, and she'd had no intention of spending the day cooped up in their small, dusty cottage, doing chores that would need to be done again tomorrow.

Now Avery was sure she heard twigs snap. Crows bolted, and she felt someone or something watching her. Her father would understand the ruined dress.

Clothes, after all, could be replaced.

People, as their family knew all too well, could not.

"Don't let go of my hand," Avery whispered as Henry wiggled. She squeezed his shoulder until he twisted his face and nodded.

He looked scared, and why wouldn't he? Instead of playing with the paper boat tucked in his pocket, he was hiding in the ghostly woods while a cold wind whistled through the trees.

"I'll figure a way to get us out of here," Avery whispered next to Henry's ear. "Just don't make a sound, and do exactly what I say."

Henry nodded, tears dotting the corners of his big brown eyes.

Normally, hiding behind a bush was a dumb idea. Tall and long legged, Avery was the fastest runner among her friends. No one laughed about her unusually big feet or made fun of her unruly inky hair, because she could outrun everyone, including the boys. She knew she could easily outpace someone in the woods — if she didn't have Henry.

So, while the unpleasant sounds of the woods rose up around them, Avery hatched a plan.

They would move to the one place she had always felt safe.

It was now or never.

Wait, the wind seemed to whisper, but Avery didn't obey.

Taking a deep breath and grabbing Henry's hand, she ducked from behind the boxwood. Head bent and body low, she pulled her brother to the next bush and the next until they reached a butternut tree deep in the thickets — but not just any butternut tree. This was where their father had built the most spectacular tree house when Avery was a little girl.

Rising before them stood a castle tree house — two stories high with an open turret and stairs that wound through a trap door that led to a tiny chamber at its highest point. The castle included a sky bridge, a tower prison, a tunnel, and a library — perfect for a girl with a bright imagination and a hunger for stories.

In the castle Avery could be anybody she wanted to be. On sunny days, she pretended to be queen and made Henry one of her loyal subjects. She painted watercolor castles and wrote poetry while sending Henry to collect blackberries or fetch water from the nearby stream for their snack. At night, when the sky was as black as ink, Avery would lie on the roof and imagine the stars were diamonds in her crown.

This castle held many secrets — among them, it supposedly sat atop an intricate system of tunnels — but whether any of them were true, Avery had no idea. Most importantly, it was the last place Avery saw her mother before she left and never came back.

Today it would be a hiding place.

Avery decided she and Henry would stay in the tree house until night fell, and then they would sneak home where Avery would explain everything to their father. He would be angry at first but would eventually soften. He might even loan her the money to buy a replacement dress since she had saved her brother's life.

Avery was just about to lead Henry into the arched doorway of the thick tree trunk when he yanked free of her grasp and raced into the open.

"Bronte!" he shouted, dropping to his knees and wrapping his pudgy arms around the mutt that was the family dog.

As Bronte's matted fur spattered Henry with mud, Avery's hopes of her father's forgiveness vanished.

She had been so sure she and Henry were in danger.

Dumb dog, she thought, both relieved and ashamed.

They were not being chased as she had suspected, but she had ruined her one good dress and Henry was covered in filth. Her father would say she had let her imagination get the best of her again, and she would spend the rest of her birthday alone in her bedroom, likely without any gifts or treats.

"Oh, Bronte," Avery said, joining Henry in scratching Bronte's floppy ears. She couldn't stay mad at the dog for long. They were the same age and had been best friends for as long as she could remember.

"Let's go home."

"But why?" Henry said, his voice rising to a whine the way it did when he was made to eat his vegetables or take a bath. "You said we were going to play hide-and-seek. Nobody found us."

"Good thing," Avery said. "But now it's time to go home for supper."

This news made Henry smile. "We'll have apple sausages and cheese," he said.

Avery was about to tell him they didn't know what their father had planned but that they would be grateful for whatever they were given. But then she heard it —

The snapping of twigs.

And she saw it —

The crows bolting.

And she felt it —

Someone or something was watching them.

And this time, Avery knew it wasn't the dog.

She grabbed Henry around the waist and ran as fast as she could move toward the tree house. But just as she leapt inside and shouted, "Hang on!" everything went dark.

All that remained was a bell clanging in the distance.



The cramped, dark cart smelled like boots left in the rain.

Avery sat with her back pressed against splintering boards, chin on her knees and her neck aching from leaning forward — for how long she had no idea, but the pain was intense. A salty, bitter rag covered her mouth, and she couldn't move her legs. Her stomach hurt more than it ever had, though she couldn't be sure if it was from hunger or something else.

Worse, she had no idea what had happened to Henry. The thought of him scared and hungry in another cart sent a fresh stab of pain through Avery's chest and she gasped for air.

I was supposed to protect him. I was the one who took him out of the house.

Suddenly, she realized the cart was moving.

She struggled to raise her hands — tied tightly at the wrists — and pounded the top of the cart as hard as she could manage until her knuckles stung.

Everything halted, and an old woman's bulging eyes appeared between the slats. Avery recoiled from hair that looked like long white wires and a face filled with so many creases she might easily be a hundred years old.

"So you're still alive!" the woman said, cackling. "Wasn't sure there for a while. I was wondering if I'd have to bury you out 'ere. Didn't want to mess with digging another grave." She smiled a gummy grin and added, "Looks like it might rain."

Another grave?

All Avery could see in her mind was Henry's scared face. She threw her body at the sides of the cart, hoping to break out, but the box wouldn't budge, and the woman stopped smiling.

"Relax," she said. "You're not going anywhere. This cart has been my sturdy companion longer than you've been on God's green earth."

Avery could see the woman wore a royal-blue cloak, and the tip of her nose was cherry red from the wind. Despite her age, her voice was strong and her black, beady eyes serious as a snake. "No banging and no yelling, you 'ear me? Or there will be consequences."

"I'm not scared of your threats," Avery said, her voice muffled by the rag around her mouth. "I'm stronger than you."

The woman smiled again, light dancing in her dull eyes. "But your brother's not. If you don't want anything to 'appen to 'enry, you'll be quiet."

He's still alive. This, at least, brought Avery a small measure of comfort.

The old woman began to laugh — a hollow, unhappy sound — revealing several missing teeth and a deep scar along her right cheek.

She knows Henry's name. What else does she know? How did she make him talk? What did he tell her?

Avery knew she should scream and hope someone would come. She could easily overpower the woman. How fast could an old woman run?

But she has Henry.

"Are you listening?" the woman said, slapping the cart with a hand as red as blood.

Avery nodded.

"You kids are all the same," the woman mumbled, wiping her forehead with the edge of her cloak. "So much trouble and so ungrateful." Her knuckles rose like mountains against the soft, flat flesh of her hand, and Avery saw a ruby ring that looked like it could be worth a fortune.

Who does she work for?

The old woman shuffled away, saying, "I almost forgot. 'appy birthday. Make a wish, darling."

The woman laughed again, the sound sending a rush of cold up Avery's spine. Then the woman disappeared and the cart began to bump along the road again.

Avery rested her chin back on her knees as hot tears sprang to her eyes. It was only supposed to be a walk. This was not how she had imagined spending her special day. She wished she could start the day over and do what her father instructed.

As her ruby flower necklace pressed against her collarbone, she knew she had made a terrible mistake to leave the house without her father's permission. He would look for them in the tree house, but he would have no idea where to look when he did not find them there.

A thick darkness settled, and with it, cold air.

Suddenly, the old woman began to sing in a voice as low as a man's —

Tonight the moon is watching as we ride toward the sea,
The sky above, the ground below will sing in 'armony.
"You're free!" we'll sing and "free!" again — You're free,
young Avery.

But Avery suspected her freedom had been left in her tree castle in the woods.

As the night grew colder, the woman slowed and her breathing grew loud and labored. The flat, gravel roads gave way to steep climbs and craggy hills, and Avery feared the old woman might have a heart attack and leave them both to freeze to death in the middle of nowhere.

Hours of travel felt like days.

Suddenly, Avery's sad and weary eyes settled on a scene that rose before the slats of the cart. Hundreds of brightly lit windows and dozens of turrets touched the sky, making the city in the distance look like a pyramid of gold perched on a pile of puffy clouds, a sort of glass castle illuminating the night sky. Its vibrant colors pulsed with life unlike anything Avery had ever seen. A thousand times she had imagined being found in a place that looked just like this — like it belonged in a fairy tale.

Her mother had spun tales of an evil king's castle — filled with secret passageways and tunnels. Her stories about the underground colonies, which she called "the underworld," were the best. When she told them late at night by candlelight that cast wide shadows on the bare walls of their tiny house, Avery forgot everything else in the world, including the fact they were poor and hungry. Those moments, curled beside her mother in bed, were her most treasured memories.

Now her stomach twisted.

Every fairy tale has its dragon.

She longed for the apple sausages Henry had talked about in the woods. She would even settle for the thick pea pottage that made their usual meal. She didn't care about her ruined dress anymore, even if she owed her father a lifetime of Saturdays sweeping the endless dust from the floor of his shop to buy a new one. She just wanted to go home.

* * *

Sloping rooftops and pointed turrets gave way to foreboding walls and dancing shadows so powerful they made Avery's heart sink. Whoever lived in this magnificent city on a hill had money and power, so this kidnapping wasn't about a ransom. Her father had nothing of value to offer rich people.

Eventually, the cart halted again and the woman barked an order to someone Avery couldn't see. Bartering ensued, followed by the clanking of coins, and the cart was pushed onto something that moved up and down slowly.

Avery pressed her face against the slats.

I'm being sold. To whom? For how much?

And then another thought was slow to follow —

Hopefully Henry and I are sold to the same person so we can stay together.

And then a final thought —

A raft. I don't know how to swim.

Chances of rescue looked slimmer by the second. Even if she escaped the box, she would never escape the water.

On the other side of the raft, another box bore another frightened face pressed against its slats. Their eyes met and held briefly before the boy — who looked to be about Avery's age — moved quickly out of Avery's view.

She turned her attention to the sea, where moonlight shimmered off choppy waves that made the raft bob, and she feared she might get sick.

I cannot make a scene if the risk is a watery grave.

The raft inched closer to the glowing city, its lights so dazzling that it looked as if it had been dusted with crystals. And it wasn't perched on puffy clouds after all, but on its own island.

The raft maneuvered around a thick tree trunk and glided smoothly over the glassy surface of the suddenly stilled water. The moon appeared large and lavender in its brilliance.

Avery knew that wherever she was going was unlike anywhere she had ever been.

For good or for evil — and she suspected evil — her life was about to change forever.



The raft came to a standstill, and the old woman pushed the cart onto dry land with a grunt.

She must have gotten a second wind during their ride on the raft, because she pushed with renewed energy over the winding hills to where a steep road led to a thick wooden door under an enormous towering archway. Two burly guards with pockmarked faces and chests as round as barrels stood on either side of the door, each holding a heavy torch in his hand with flames that licked the air and spit out heavy smoke as black as midnight.

One of the guards grunted and Avery felt the beat of her heart in her neck.

She was thankful, at least, to have survived the raft. Now she hoped to survive these men. She didn't have the energy to fight. And from the size of these two, she would need more than energy if they intended to harm her.

Avery suspected people did whatever these men required.

She could only hope that her father was out looking for her and Henry by now and that he had already alerted the authorities.

Of course he has. He is looking for us right now. We'll be home by breakfast.

"What's in the cart?" one of the guards asked, kicking the box with his enormous boot.

Avery moved as far back and out of sight as possible.

"Potatoes and blackberries," the old woman said, a surprising unease in her voice.

Avery didn't know whose side the men would take if she called for help, but she knew she had a better chance defending herself against the old woman than against men with muscles the size of bread bowls and boots the size of planets.

More words. More grunts. More kicking the cart.

Finally, they opened the door to a set of narrow limestone steps that seemed to lead forever up an unlit stairway. Before Avery had time to think about what it meant for her own cramped and aching back and legs —

Ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk.

Someone — surely not the old woman — was dragging or pushing the cart up the steps one painful thud at a time. Avery slammed back against the boards, her head hitting the top and the sides and her knees knocking the front when she tried to brace herself. She wanted to cry out in agony, but who might hear her and what consequence might that bring? She bit down on the oily rag to keep from screaming. By the time the cart stopped, she ached all over and knew that even if she were able to escape, she wouldn't get far.


Excerpted from The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe, Jerry B. Jenkins. Copyright © 2016 Trisha White Priebe. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Glass Castle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You must read this book!!! A very good book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
....... CAN'T FIN THE WORDS!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm ten. Am I old enough?
Blessings_N_Bloggings More than 1 year ago
When reviewing a book that is geared toward tweens and teens I tend to look for the overall message that the authors are trying to convey, along with the actual story line. In The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe & Jerry B. Jenkins I found the messages to be subtle but Christian based. For example there are virtues such as being kind, showing forgiveness, working together, respecting one another, and of course the golden rule-do onto others as you would have done unto you. The virtues of Christianity are throughout the book and there are several references to God and belief in God. The story itself begins with thirteen year old Avery being kidnapped, what she finds out is that she has been taken to the King's castle where every thirteen year old orphan in the kingdom has been kidnapped and being secretly held. The only problem is Avery is not an orphan. The story progresses with the teenagers trying to figure out who brought them there, possibly the evil king or perhaps in newlywed queen determined to give him an heir and why. I liked the story, I thought it was a well developed plot line and I will be very interested in seeing how they proceed with the story line. There are some character deaths but nothing in the way of gore or over the top violence. The story does end with a cliff hanger…you may just figure out who the true heir to the thrown is. This book was given to be in EBook format by NetGalley for my honest opinion.
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
Ever since she was a little girl, Avery has heard fairy tales about a gorgeous glass castle from her mother. She is thirteen now, but the tales have not yet lost their magnificence, if only because her mother is no longer there to tell them. Regardless, the wealth, beauty, and adventure in those stories are but unreachable dreams. That is, until Avery finds herself whisked off to the very castle in which all those stories took place, in which the only people she meets are thirteen-years-old just like her. The Glass Castle is the first in a new middle grade and young adult series called Thirteen. It is a fairy tale mystery which this first novel only just begins to solve. It is difficult to guess where the series will go from here because there are too many leads for them to all be false. The characters were interesting and engaging. They fit their age groups, with varied interests, backgrounds, and relationships. Avery was a fun character to follow as she made discoveries and built realistic friendships with the children around her. She was inquisitive and determined, but sometimes oblivious. Because all of the main characters were just beginning their teen years, I would recommend this book to those who are slightly younger or the same age. The book touched on some difficult topics that might not be applicable for children not yet in their pre-teens. For instance, the book begins with a girl being kidnapped and separated from her brother. Then—and yes, this is branching into content spoilers for the rest of the paragraph—it is discovered that the queen-to-be is trying to “get rid” of all the thirteen-year-olds in the kingdom. In fact, she is discovered to be so awful as to have tried to murder her family members because of a pursuit of power. It is up to the parents to determine whether they want their young children reading a book with this topic. I would have no problem with it because the topics are treated well and are no worse than some of the movies and things they would have watched at that age anyway. I recommend The Glass Castle to readers of Christian, middle grade fantasy. I received a complimentary copy of this book from eStories. All opinions are expressly my own.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The best part of any novel in my opinion is one that can hold your interest and keep the plot line concealed so well you can't figure it out until you're in the final stretch and Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins do just that in their series, Thirteen with the first novel The Glass Castle. The cover is what initially drew me into this one as well as the success of Jerry B. Jenkins, (Left Behind). This is one I will definitely be following all the way to the conclusion. This is written for young adults and teens, but anyone who loves a bit of fantasy and medieval history will want to pick this up as well. The greatest fear for any child is to be separated from your family and yet that is just what happens to both Avery and Henry who are abducted while exploring the woods outside their family home. All Avery knows is when she wakes up, she is kept caged in a box, making preparations to move her to another location, with only an old woman to answer a few of the questions she has. Avery knows she simply has to buy her time before making any plans for escape. Plus the threat from the old woman that if she attempts to escape, she will never see Henry again. She arrives to a golden castle which her mother used to spin tales of during her time with them but suddenly vanished one day. "Every fairy tale has its dragon." is what she used to remind Avery and it seems this might be very true. She is set free in the midst of other young teens just about her age, locked away within the very walls of the castle. She is given a brief tour with a stern reminder never to open or look out the windows and when the bell sounds, they must retreat to their safe rooms, a sign adults are coming. It appears that the teens work for the king and soon to be queen without their knowledge only that the staff do their bidding when asked. They never appear and remain hidden at all times. Those that are discovered are sent away to the Forbidden City, a place where no one ever returns and one that keeps the children to the set of standards imposed on them. But why can't Avery seem to find her brother, and where is he being kept. All she knows is that her one ally is a girl named Kate who takes a true liking to her and helps her to keep from getting into trouble. All they know is that the king is dying and must produce an heir from the future queen so that the kingdom will remain within her control and rumors circulate that the kings first born might still be alive, but then again it is only a rumor or is it? I received The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins compliments of Net Galley and Barbour Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation aside for a free eBook copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. This is going to be such a grand series when it is finished because as I stated earlier you don't know what is going on until almost the conclusion of this one and I can see where the Christian theme will come into play in a wonderful light. Readers get a bit of a sneak peek at the conclusion of this one of the sequel The Ruby Moon which will release in the fall of 2016 so readers don't have long to wait to see what happens next. Those fans of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien will absolutely love this coming of age medieval fairy tale and in my opinion this one garners a 4 out of 5 stars.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Glass Castle - Thirteen Author: Trisha Priebe & Jerry B Jenkins Published: 3-1-16 Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc./Shiloh Run Press Pages: 259 Genre: Christian Fiction Sub Genre: Middle Grade; Action & Adventure; Fantasy ISBN: 9781634093897 ASIN: B015F06DSM Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . The old king is feeling his age and wants an heir with his new wife. The problem is the former queen had a son thirteen years before. Told that the old queen and child had died but not knowing for certain he begins to wonder what became of the child. It is decreed that all thirteen year old orphans are to be killed. As word spreads of the kings decree the endangered children are kidnapped and taken to be hidden in the closed areas of the castle to save their lives. That is until an old woman kidnaps Avery on her thirteenth birthday. She tries to escape to find her father and brother causing chaos among the staff in the castle and rallies the other orphans to escape as well. The kids work together then it is learned one of them may be the prince the king wants dead. Can they work together to escape? Should they escape? Is one of them the royal heir? From the very start the story draws you in. It is important to remember the era the story is set in as there is a touch of romance in this story. Think Romeo and Juliet and this it was not uncommon for twelve and thirteen year olds were married. Royals sometimes even younger if they were on the throne (King Tut was nine). The word descriptions are so well done that you feel you are standing with the characters and can see what they do, smell the mustiness of the castle, the beauty of countryside and the characters themselves. With well developed characters and a plot that is thought out and written so that it moves quickly and smoothly. One word of warning though is that The Glass Castle is not a completed stand-alone book, but rather a lead into the next book in the series. There will be some unresolved issues and questions. Despite that it is a wonderful read. As anyone who has ever read Trisha Priebe or Jerry B Jenkins work before can attest the story will be thrilling and adventurous. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite The Glass Castle (Thirteen) by Trisha Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins is the story of thirteen-year-old Avery and many other thirteen-year-old kids who all, for some reason, ended up in a castle. However, they cannot walk about freely in the castle, they have to remain hidden and yet still do many of the chores that need to be done within the castle. When Avery gets kidnapped (as does her small brother, but he is not with her when she wakes up in the castle), her whole life changes. While she knows she needs to get away, back to her father and also find her brother, she has no other choice but to adjust to life in the castle. She makes friends, discovers secrets, and learns more about her connections to the castle. But why are all thirteen-year-olds forced to be in the castle? What is the secret agenda of the new queen to be? If you enjoy fantasy novels that are not too violent and have a certain flair of magic within them, then The Glass Castle (Thirteen) by Trisha Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins would be a very good choice for you. However, the next book in the series is still a while away, so you might want to wait for a little because the end is a cliffhanger and all readers love AND hate those at the same time. I have a list called "book series which I want to read the next in the series" and I do not often add to it. Many series these days are just not good enough. But The Glass Castle made it onto that list. It is not a fantasy with strange creatures and monstrous villains, it has its own magic which lies in the characters and the secrets within the castle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was doing a book report for school
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed the story, but I was so disappointed at the way it ended. Not sure I would spend the money for the next book knowing I will have to purchase two more books to get the ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book about a girl and her brother that get kidnapped
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the best book I have read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont like how it just stops without waring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago