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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Wild Robert

by Diana Wynne Jones

Reviewed July 21, 2004.
Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins), New York, 2003.  Originally published in 1989 in Great Britain.  100 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF JON).

I’m a big fan of Diana Wynne Jones.  Wild Robert is a book for younger readers than her usual, perfect for those ready for beginning chapter books who like a taste of fantasy.  Readers of the popular Spiderwick Chronicles might be happy to move on to this book.

Heather lives in a castle, but she doesn’t like it one bit.  Her father’s the caretaker of Castlemaine, and all summer the place is overrun with visitors, and both her parents are occupied showing them around.

About to give up on finding a place to be alone, Heather goes to the old mound.  She wishes aloud that the legendary Wild Robert could really come out and deal with all those tourists.

To her surprise, Wild Robert does come out.  He is happy to hear that his relatives are gone, and the castle now belongs to him.  Only he’s not happy with the visitors or the mean old gardener trying to keep him from the strawberries.  Can Heather keep him from turning her father into a sheep?  How can she explain this man in old-fashioned clothes who thinks he owns the castle?

Diana Wynne Jones takes a light-hearted approach to these problems and leaves us with a provocative ending that more adventures may follow.  The book will appeal to any child who has a sneaking desire to stir things up, all in good fun.

Reviews of other books by Diana Wynne Jones:
Cart and Cwidder
Drowned Ammet
The Spellcoats
The Crown of Dalemark
Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin
Conrad's Fate
Unexpected Magic
The Merlin Conspiracy
The Ogre Downstairs
Witch's Business

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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