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Griffin's Castle
by Jenny Nimmo (more about Jenny Nimmo) 93/8 first published 1964
Fantasy and Magic for ages 9 to 11 published by Mammoth
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.99, Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
8/10 You are working hard. Well done.
What's it about?
This is a wonderfully touching story about a young girl's search for her past and for someone to take care of her. Although I have it in the fantasy section it's really about real life and the way people withdraw from the world when it becomes unbearable.
What happens?
Diana and her mother move into a ramshackle old house which belongs to Gomer Gwynne, Dinah falls in love with the house but quickly realises that Gomer Gwynne wants to demolish it and also has designs on her mother. There is no room for Dinah in either plan, so she turns to the mystical carved creatures on the stone walls of the castle. As her isolation and anger grow, the animals gather around her to keep everyone else out, good or bad.
Is it easy to read?
For a novel which is over thirty years old it still reads incredibly well, without sounding as if it is from the past.
Anything else?
You can only feel the deepest sympathy for Dinah. No father, no real friends and an awkward relationship with her mother. Nimmo writes with a gentle touch, so we are led from sadness to happiness and back to despair without noticing any set-pieces. By the end of the book the reader cares deeply about what happens to Dinah and the twist at the end is a welcome surprise,
Other books by Jenny Nimmo include Dog Star, Emlyn's Moon, Midnight for Charlie Bone, Seth and the Strangers, The Chestnut Soldier, The Rinaldi Ring, The Snow Spider, The Time Twister, Tom and the Pterosaur, Ultramarine.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Shortlisted for the Smarties Prize and the Beefeater Children's Novel Award, this is a gripping and moving fantasy by the author of The Snow Spider, winner of the Smarties Grand Prix and televised by HTV.
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