Cover image for The castle in the attic
The castle in the attic
Winthrop, Elizabeth.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Dell Yearling, 1994.

Physical Description:
179 pages : illustrations, map ; 20 cm
A gift of a toy castle, complete with silver knight, introduces William to an adventure involving magic and a personal quest.
General Note:
"A Yearling book."

Originally published: New York : Holiday House, 1985.
Reading Level:


750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 6.0 160.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.9 7 Quiz: 01931 Guided reading level: R.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Classics
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



One of the classic fantastical adventures of all time!

William has just received the best present of his life--an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, a moat, and a fingerhigh knight to guard the gates. It's the mysterious castle his housekeeper has told him about, and even though William is sad she's leaving, now the castle is his! William can't wait to play with the castle--he's certain there's something magical about it. And sure enough, when he picks up the tiny silver knight, it comes alive in his hand! Sir Simon tells William a mighty story of wild sorcery, wizards, and magic. And suddenly William is off on a fantastic quest to another land and another time--where a fiery dragon and an evil wizard are waiting to do battle. . . .

An IRA-CBC Children's Choice
A California Young Reader Medal Winner
A Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Winner

Author Notes

Author Elizabeth Winthrop grew up in Washington, D. C., and has written over 50 works of fiction for all ages. She has won numerous awards including the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the Pen Syndicated Fiction Award, the California Young Readers Medal and the Jane Addams Peace Prize Honor Book. Many of her children's books are based on her childhood memories and the experiences of her children and other children she has talked to. Her book Belinda's Hurricane is based on the time she lived through a hurricane with her grandmother on an island off the coast of Connecticut. I Think He Likes Me is based on her daughter's reaction to her younger brother when he was brought home from the hospital. Her most popular books are The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Mrs. Phillips, who has taken care of William for years, prepares to return to England, she gives the boy a medieval castle with one knight. The knight comes to life, and William is drawn into a battle to release the kingdom from a wizard's spell. PW admired Winthrop's ``absorbing fantasy. Suspense and colorful details, as well as a gentle moral precept, make the story special.'' (8-12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3--7‘Another entry in the Words Take Wing series of audiobooks, The Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop (Holiday, 1993) takes listeners into the world of William and Jason, two boys entering the turbulent years of adolescence. In this sequel to The Castle in the Attic, William decides to take Jason into the toy castle. Their adventure includes fighting a gang of human-sized rats who are eating everything in their wake. There is a wonderful passage in which listeners get a glimpse of the destruction being caused by the rats as they eat humans, animals, and machines‘perfect for horror lovers. Children and adult readers are used for the characters; the author is the narrator. The actors who read the parts of Jason and William bring a ring of truth and reality to the story as it deals with the struggle between childhood and adolesence and with coming to terms with being comfortable with oneself. The different voices for each of the characters heightens the sense of adventure. This audiobook makes a great companion to Listening Library's audio version of Dealing with Dragons (March 1997, p. 142).‘Linda W. Braun, formerly Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library System, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.