The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

Book - 2016
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¿Keep calm and carry on.¿

That's what Katherine Bateson's father told her, and that's what she's trying to do: when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands.

But it's hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse. What's making those terrifying screeches and groans at night? Why do the castle's walls seem to have a mind of their own? And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear?

Kat believes she knows the answer: Lady Eleanor, who rules Rookskill Castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must uncover the truth about what the castle actually harbors - and who Lady Eleanor really is - before it's too late.

Raves for the Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle:

* 'Wonderfully written . . . Readers will curl up and keep the lights on with this chilling page-turner.' Booklist , starred review

* 'An original, clever, page-turning adventure.' Kirkus Reviews , starred review

* 'In this intricately plotted thriller . . . True-to-life protagonists, the skillful interweaving of flashbacks and the chatelaine motif, a masterful final encounter, and a satisfying denouement attest to Fox's craftsmanship.' Publishers Weekly , starred review

'An enchanting, ghostly story that had me in its grip until the last page. With her courage, strength, and intelligence, Kat Bateson will become one of the great literary heroines. I rooted for her right through the last page.' Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The False Prince

'With nods to Narnia, Harry Potter and The Golden Compass , Janet Fox has created hair-raising suspense and drama. My heart is still pounding from this action-packed, imaginative read!' Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky

'Chilling, creepy, charming . . . a delicious read, full of twists and turns and writing that soars right along with the rooks outside the castle walls.' Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author

'Fiendishly addicting, with as many twists and turns as the sinister castle that conceals the charmed children and the chilling evil that first ensnared them.' Julie Berry, award-winning author of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

'A new classic: a terrifyingly irresistable mystery, full of danger, magic, and adventure.' Nikki Loftin, author of Wish Girl and Nightingale's Nest

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2016.
ISBN: 9780451476333
Branch Call Number: j F FOX J
Characteristics: 388 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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ArapahoeJillK Jul 17, 2018

Intelligent children muster their courage to confront mystery and magic in an haunting Scottish mansion during WWII. This novel is genuinely creepy with a Gothic feel.

kathleen_DCL Feb 05, 2018

A very well written and scary story! Great historical fiction, fantasy and mystery all rolled into one.

carinmilburn Aug 25, 2017

Interesting start, then really slow and then interesting and then slow. I think there was just too much going on. Some of the scary stuff was underdeveloped (like all the ghost kids) because there were too many characters but I kept reading it. But was disappointed.

Dec 25, 2016

An astonishing read. I loved it.

ArapahoeBridget Oct 27, 2016

A perfectly creepy and atmospheric mystery, with an excellent audiobook reader. I guess this isn't quite a gothic, but it's got many of the same hallmarks. I loved the nuanced and well developed villain contrasted against the frustrated and often scared heroine. It might be a good fit if you liked The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, because both stories are creepy and weird with interesting mystery elements.

A great J-level genre-blender: a WWII-era historical fiction, gothic mystery, with some steampunk-style mechanical magic thrown in. [audiobook]

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Sep 06, 2016

Janet Fox clearly put a lot of thought into this one. The pieces of the mystery fit together snugly and will keep most kids (and adults!) guessing. I will say that I got a bit bored with the reveal but others may not. It was really the eeriness of the story that captured me. I love a good spook and with a sketchy castle, dreary Scottish weather, a group of ever-present rooks, wandering ghostly children, and a soul-hungry headmistress, this did not disappoint.

ArapahoeCatherine Aug 24, 2016

Dark, spooky historical fiction with a little magic! I think kids and middle grade readers will definitely enjoy this one!

kirstd31 Jul 11, 2016

This book starts out great. World War II is taking place and the children leave the city to go to school in an old castle in Scotland. Weird things start happening. Is the castle haunted or is their a spy? I could not put the book down. But then it became slow and drawn out. I was disappointed.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Mar 16, 2016

This book has all the elements of a great thriller -- Scotland! a spooky castle! charmed children! -- and Fox strikes the perfect balance of being spooky enough to thrill without going too far overboard and terrifying this book's target audience. The backdrop of WWII adds a nice layer of complexity to the plot of this book, which is clever and well-thought-out, and clearly written with a lot of respect for the children who will eventually read it. Highly enjoyable.


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