Cover image for Wild Robert
Wild Robert
Jones, Diana Wynne.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, 2003.
Physical Description:
100 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
While trying to get away from the tourists visiting the stately home where her parents are caretakers, Heather accidentally summons a mischievous 350-year-old youth with magical powers and nothing is ever the same again.
General Note:
Originally published: Great Britain : Methuen Children's Books, 1989.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 2.0 71859.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Heather's parents are the caretakers of the stately home Castlemaine, and Heather would love living there -- if it weren't for the tourists. Every summer they invade Castlemaine, and one day they even trample into all of her secret quiet spots. The only one left is a peculiar little mound that the villagers say is the grave of Wild Robert, a legendary magician who lived 350 years ago. When Heather cries out for Wild Robert to use his magical powers on the tourists, she never expects a handsome young man to appear right in front of her. She never expects all the mischief he causes, either! Will Castlemaine ever be the same once Wild Robert has returned?

This novel for young readers is full of Diana Wynne Jones's signature humor, inventiveness, and charm.

Author Notes

Diana Wynne Jones was born in London on August 16, 1934. In 1953, she began school at St. Anne's College Oxford and attended lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. After graduation, she created plays for children that were performed at the London Arts Theatre. Her first book was published in 1973. She wrote over 40 books during her lifetime including Dark Lord of Derkholm, Earwig and the Witch, and the Chrestomanci series. She won numerous awards including the Guardian Award for Children's Books in 1977 for Charmed Life, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 1984 for Archer's Goon, the Mythopeic Award in 1999, the Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999, and the Life Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Organization in 2007. Her book Howl's Moving Castle was adapted into an animated film by director Hayao Miyazaki, and the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. She died from lung cancer on March 26, 2011 at the age of 76.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. Heather lives with her parents at Castlemaine, an ancient dwelling owned by the British Trust, where her parents give tours to generate the funds necessary to maintain the property. One day, desperate to avoid the constant parade of boring tourists, Heather wishes the return of Wild Robert, (a former resident who was executed 350 years ago for witchcraft), to stir up a little fun. Her wish is granted, and soon Heather is traipsing over the grounds after Robert, trying to restrain the mischievous magician. Luckily it turns out that Robert's spells are only effective during daylight hours, giving Heather (and her parents) a little reprieve. Originally published in Britain in 1989, this amusing fantasy features a likable (and believable) young heroine, broadly painted comic villains, and a fairly straightforward plot that even young fantasy buffs will be able to follow. In addition, many of the original Briticisms still remain, adding to the flavor of the text. A good choice where fantasy is popular, especially for readers who aren't ready to tackle long fantasy tomes. --Kay Weisman Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In its U.S. debut, Wild Robert, a humorous fantasy from Diana Wynne Jones, illus. by Mark Zug, Heather's parents serve as curators at Castlemaine, the stately home where she lives. Trying to escape the tourist crowds, Heather climbs a secluded, peculiar mound reputed to be the grave of a man with magical powers who died 350 years ago. But when she accidentally summons the mischievous Wild Robert from the distant past, things really get out of control. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Heather dislikes living in a castle. Her parents are curators who spend all day leading tourists through the place, so her summer is filled with noise and crowds. Her boredom ends when she accidentally summons Wild Robert, who lived at Castlemaine 350 years earlier and was banished underground by his brothers because of his mischievous, magical powers. The handsome but naughty young man announces his intention to claim his inheritance, and woe to those who annoy him; he wields his magic with a liberal hand. Heather's commonsense attempts to keep Robert from wreaking havoc while she figures out what, if anything, to tell her parents are entertaining, as are his imperious comments and wicked sense of humor. The ending offers an anticlimactic and unsatisfying solution to the girl's dilemma, but her ability to recognize and admire the touch of sadness and bravery beneath Robert's hauteur adds a bit of depth to the story. The pencil illustrations are mostly successful, though they lack the wit of the text and sometimes seem lackluster. Light and fun, this fantasy is fine for children who aren't old enough for Jones's more complex fare.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.