The Resource Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon

Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon

Label
Castle Hangnail
Title
Castle Hangnail
Statement of responsibility
by Ursula Vernon
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When little, twelve-year-old Molly arrives at Castle Hangnail to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the minions who dwell there have no choice but to give her the job and at first it seems she will be able to keep the castle open, but Molly has quite a few secrets that could cause trouble
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
Mythopoeic Award for Children's Literature, 2016.
Review
  • Grades 4-7 Castle Hangnail must have a master or it will be decommissioned. So when 12-year-old Molly shows up on the doorstep, claiming to be the new master, most of the minions working in the castle accept her despite her youth and seeming lack of true evil. After all, she has the invitation from the Board of Magic, and she can perform magic. But the castle has fallen into disrepair, and the board’s list of tasks (including blighting, smiting, and defending) must be completed if she is truly to be master. When an old and powerful rival of Molly’s shows up to claim the castle for herself, all that Molly can do may not be enough. In the tradition of Eva Ibbotson comes a wacky, heartwarming tale of magic, friendship, and home. Creatively drawn characters—from a Minotaur cook to a donkey-dragon to clockwork bees—enjoy mutual respect and will sacrifice whatever is needed to safeguard the castle and its master. The illustrations add whimsy to this delightful tale, and the satisfying conclusion leaves the door cracked for future adventures. -- Moore, Melissa (Reviewed 03-15-2015) (Booklist, vol 111, number 14, p73)
  • Gr 4 – 6 — Molly, a 12-year-old witch, arrives as the new master of Castle Hangnail, despite some misgivings on the part of Majordomo, the Igor-like guardian responsible for the management of its legacy and various minion occupants. To keep the castle from having its magic removed and its minions dispersed, Molly must perform a series of wicked tasks, which may be beyond the scope of her moral compass and her fledgling powers. Featuring a bevy of cute and unthreatening touches and populated throughout with spot illustrations, the book quickly establishes grounded and effective stakes. One the one hand, a character is a hypochondriac goldfish, but on the other, a child is responsible for the livelihoods of several adults and is hiding secrets that could drastically affect them. To have these aspects exist side by side so seamlessly is testament to the author's careful maneuvering of tone, including a finale that solidly shows the story's veneer of innocence is overlaid on significant and deadly consequences. While that depth could make the peril disquietingly real for younger readers, it offers a read with substance and resonance, despite the more whimsical trappings. An appealing fantasy for upper middle grade readers.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH --Benjamin Russell (Reviewed January 1, 2015) (School Library Journal, vol 61, issue 1, p100)
  • Castle Hangnail desperately needs a master, but when 12-year-old Molly, a charming but not-so-wicked witch, arrives for the job, she has an uphill battle persuading the castle's servants that she has what it takes to save their beloved home from decommission. Can Molly defend the property, manage the minions, and assure the Board of Magic that she's the real deal? Molly must first win the hearts of her bizarre slate of servants, including a minotaur for a cook, a woman made entirely of steam, a walking suit of armor, and a stern and skeptical guardian with body parts that "looked to have been dead for quite some time." Molly entertainingly checks off the tasks required, but she still has to face her largest enemy and realize her own power before she can save the castle. In both the narration and occasional b&w illustrations, Vernon (the Dragonbreath series) deftly weaves silly, suspenseful, and only slightly scary elements throughout this engaging coming-of-age story, which will easily appeal to fans of spells and sorcery. Ages 8–12. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed April 27, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 17, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Castle Hangnail is in desperate need of a new Master; 12-year-old budding Wicked Witch Molly might be just the person to fill the position.The crumbling castle is in real danger of being decommissioned, and the resident minions fear the loss of their longtime home. It's fairly easy to overlook the fact that the short, rather kindly girl in the witchy boots seems a somewhat unusual candidate for the job. That might just be because she stole the invitation to apply from a nasty young sorceress and is, therefore, something of a fraud. In a droll, ironic style that fans of Terry Pratchett will appreciate, Vernon (Dragonbreath, 2012, etc.) creatively—even joyfully—explores the well-worn trope of young teen witchcraft. Molly, fiercely defensive of her new home and loyal followers, is just beginning to understand the nature of her power. Her successes are engaging, hard-won and fully believable. Characters as unusual as a steaming teapot spirit, mother-and-son Minotaurs who ably manage the castle kitchen, a near-empty suit of armor, a Frankenstein-like castle manager and a lively stuffed doll that does all the sewing come fully, sometimes hilariously to life. Illustrations liberally sprinkled throughout add yet another satisfying dimension. An appealing protagonist, lots of action, clever, witty writing, witchcraft and evildoers who get nothing but what they deserve—what's not to love? (Fantasy. 10-16)(Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10410599
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Vernon, Ursula
Dewey number
813.6
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Witches
  • Magic
  • Haunted houses
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
372 pages
Isbn
9780803741294
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780803741294
Label
Castle Hangnail, by Ursula Vernon
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
372 pages
Isbn
9780803741294
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780803741294

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