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Castle Diary by Richard Platt


Book Review

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess, Page by Richard Platt, Illustrated by Chris Riddell (Candlewick, 2003)

Ages 7-12

For any knight-and-sword-fascinated kids, this book offers a great kid's-eye view of life castle life. Castle Diary is written from the point of view of Tobias, an eleven-year-old boy learning the duties of a page at Strandborough Castle in the year 1285. There's a wonderful mix of surprising details from everyday life and adventure. Tobias goes on a hunt and helps at a knight's tournament, but also plays with other boys and gets sick from a feast.

Tobias writes with a middle-ages vocabulary and sentence structure, which might make the book challenging for younger kids, even as a read-aloud. But those younger kids will learn lots of vocabulary if you stop to talk about what's happening as you read.

The illustrations are packed with both humor and detail. Kids can get a sense of the story just by looking at them and reading the captions.

 

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