Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

4.27 (194,505 ratings by Goodreads)
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Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing, classic fantasy novel is filled with surprises at every turn. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl--and herself--than first meets the eye.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 111 x 172 x 23mm | 154g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 006441034X
  • 9780064410342
  • 16,820

Back cover copy

In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters--Sophie, Lettie, and Martha--and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

Diana Wynne Jones's entrancing fantasy is filled with surprises at every turn, but when the final stormy duel between the Witch and the Wizard is finished, all the pieces fall magically into place.
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Review quote

"Wit and humor glint from the pages."-- "The Horn Book""A witty, rollicking fantasy."-- "ALA Booklist"
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About Diana Wynne Jones

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards-and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter-her books are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.
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Rating details

194,505 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 51% (98,744)
4 32% (62,173)
3 13% (25,164)
2 3% (5,771)
1 1% (2,653)

Our customer reviews

As a child I remember being entertained for days by this book, re-reading it again and again. It gripped me in a world so vivid and amazing I yearned for it to become a reality that I could visit, childish I know but honestly its one of the most wonderfully written books I've ever come across. Words cannot convey that. One can only experience it for more
by Mia
Also published in <a href="">"A Cup of Coffee and a Book"</a> I am one of those rare persons who still haven't seen the movie by <u>Hayao Miyazaki</u>... I know, I know... prepare your torches and pitchforks to hunt me down. So, I was completely caught my surprised while reading this book. Which was a nice thing though because this book was simply amazing. The first word that popped into my head when I first finished this was: <b>adorable!</b> It is indeed such an adorable and cute story I couldn't put it down. There were some parts were I laughed out loud and almost rolled on the floor laughing, others I just kept smiling. I labelled this book as <i>one-of-those-you-can't-read-in-the-street-without-making-a-fool-of-yourself</i>. A nice label by the way since I do make quite a fool of myself in the street while reading a book. The characters were a pure delight. They were so funny and original I wished they were real and not characters written in a book. <u>Sophie</u>, turned into a 90 years-old lady, is always complaining and nosy. She really managed to bring the true nature of a "grandmother" despite her young years. Being the elder daughter, she thought her fortunes were always doomed until destiny proved her wrong. She is, indeed, one of the luckiest girls in Ingary without even knowing. She was mature enough to embrace her misfortune, being transformed by the Witch of the Waste, and keep moving forward in order to change it. But she caught up in the webs of Howl's adventures and Calcifer's treaty. She would worry about others despite of herself but she also had a selfish side. In fact she was so human I would love to meet her personally. <u>Howl</u>, the wizard everyone is afraid and scared because she captures young girls and eats them, is my favourite character! When we first meet him he seems quite shallow, vain, conceited and doesn't care about anyone but himself. He's character was a bit nerving and hard to appreciate at first, with all the tales told about him ringing in my mind. But as Sophie, and ourselves, come to know him better, he's not the monster everyone thinks. As the plot unfolds, he's turned into quite a lone guy who can't help being the way he is and whose destiny is crossed by a spell he has to avoid at all costs. And then, when we finally realise he's a great heart and falls in love with Sophie - best part in the book for me when he comes to rescue her - I can't help but adore him. <u>Calcifer</u>, the fire demon and the <i>person</i> in charge of moving the castle, was a character I had a difficult time to know what to think of him. At first he sort of scared me. I didn't know whether he was evil or not, what he's plan was and all. The word <i>demon</i> here, however, doesn't actually mean <i>evil</i>. Calcifer became a character needed in the story, his riddles and he's humour being a very appreciated. I loved him as I loved Howl. The storyline was very well developed since it hooks us in chapter one till the very end. It's hard to put it down for a minute 'cause you just want to read more and more and get to know what's going to happen. It was intriguing, funny and very smart. It had a bit of melodrama from Howl which I found extremely delightful. And there was also a chapter in which we are taken to the present day each added a bit of fantasy to the story and made me laugh so hard with the description of Sophie in the car. Howl's Moving Castle is an adorable (need to find another word for this), hilarious and delightful read for every age. I say it's a <b>must-read</b> for certain!show more
by Leonor (Ner)
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