The Charmed Children Of Rookskill Castle

Paperback | March 7, 2017

byJanet Fox

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Now in paperback--Janet Fox's magical and mysterious middle grade debut.

“Keep calm and carry on.”  That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do:  when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands.
But it’s hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse.  What’s making those terrifying screeches and groans at night?  Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own?  And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear?
Kat believes she knows the answer: Lady Eleanor, who rules Rookskill Castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must uncover the truth about what the castle actually harbors—and who Lady Eleanor really is—before it's too late.

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From the Publisher

Now in paperback--Janet Fox's magical and mysterious middle grade debut.“Keep calm and carry on.”  That’s what Katherine Bateson’s father told her, and that’s what she’s trying to do:  when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when th...

Janet Fox writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction for children of all ages. Her young adult debut novel, Faithful, was an Amelia Bloomer List pick, and was followed by a companion novel, Forgiven, a Junior Library Guild selection and WILLA Literary Award Finalist, and Sirens. Janet is a 2010 graduate of the MFA/Writing for Childre...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.75 × 5.06 × 0.97 inPublished:March 7, 2017Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0147517133

ISBN - 13:9780147517135

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Extra Content

Read from the Book

“Look,” Amelie said. “Come and look.” Ame stood at the window, staring out into the garden. Kat moved to her side. The view was toward the back of the castle. The fog had lifted into a gray autumn sky. The garden was barren and cold, the annuals gone and the shrubbery bare twigs. Some patches of early snow showed in the hollows, but the ground was otherwise bare and brown. An allée of trees stretched in a narrow band toward a woodland; beyond the farthest edge of woods Kat thought she saw a thin sliver of silvery water. That way was southeast, toward the North Sea and the continent. Toward the war. Toward Father, who was there, somewhere across the water, in danger but doing what he must. The woods, the rough coast, the moors beyond were treacherous and would be an easy place in which to be lost, especially in fog. There was no need of a castle moat, no need for shuttered gates. They were all here until the bitter end, and Kat swallowed the lump in her throat. She touched the cold glass with her fingers before she turned away. But Amelie tugged at her sleeve. “No. Look.” Ame pointed down into the near garden. Kat leaned against the glass to see. Straight below them a small girl with blonde hair sat on the stone edging of an empty round fishpond. How Kat hadn’t seen her right off was a mystery. A hound dog circled the girl and nosed the grass at her feet. As Kat watched, the girl reached into the rocks and lifted something out, and for an instant there was a flash of silver in the child’s hand. Kat blinked and rubbed her eyes. The girl held nothing. “She’s wearing a summer frock,” Kat murmured. “She’s catching fishes,” said Amelie. “Ame, that pond is dry, silly.” But the girl dipped her hand into the dry rocks again and again, and each time, something fishlike shimmered in her hand and then winked away. Kat shuddered. “I feel so sad for her,” said Amelie, leaning against the window, fingers splayed on the glass. “She’s lost something. Can you see it, Kat? She’s looking for something in the pond.” Kat took her sister’s hand. It felt so cold, Kat had to rub Ame’s fingers between her palms. “You have a kind heart, Ame.” But a vague uneasiness stirred inside Kat. The door burst open behind them. “Kat!” Robbie fell into the room, Peter on his heels, Robbie’s eyes like saucers. “Kat! You won’t believe it. We found a secret hiding place. A hidden room. With something—or someone—locked inside that makes terrible shrieky noises.” Kat looked at Peter, who nodded, then back at Rob. He was white as the cliffs of Dover. “Sure as sure,” Rob said in a low voice, “sure as sure, it’s a ghost.”

Editorial Reviews

RAVES FOR THE CHARMED CHILDREN OF ROOKSKILL CASTLE:* “Wonderfully written . . . Readers will curl up and keep the lights on with this chilling page-turner.”—Booklist, starred review  * “An original, clever, page-turning adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review* “In this intricately plotted thriller . . . . True-to-life protagonists, the skillful interweaving of flashbacks and the chatelaine motif, a masterful final encounter, and a satisfying denouement attest to Fox’s craftsmanship.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review* “ Fox works a spell of her own, pulling her audience deep into the increasingly nightmarish tale, while creating a stout-hearted heroine who isn't afraid to trust her own mind.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review“Fox’s story of intrigue and magic is enticing from page one . . . a fascinating and wonderful read.” —VOYA“[A] cleverly-crafted thriller . . . readers who enjoy historical fiction, science fiction, or horror will not want to miss this book!”—School Library Connections “An enchanting, ghostly story that had me in its grip until the last page. With her courage, strength, and intelligence, Kat Bateson will become one of the great literary heroines. I rooted for her right through the last page.” —Jennifer A. Nielsen, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The False Prince   “With nods to Narnia, Harry Potter and The Golden Compass, Janet Fox has created hair-raising suspense and drama. My heart is still pounding from this action-packed, imaginative read!” —Kirby Larson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Hattie Big Sky   “Chilling, creepy, charming . . . a delicious read, full of twists and turns and writing that soars right along with the rooks outside the castle walls.” —Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author   “Fiendishly addicting, with as many twists and turns as the sinister castle that conceals the charmed children and the chilling evil that first ensnared them.” —Julie Berry, award-winning author of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place   “A new classic: a terrifyingly irresistable mystery, full of danger, magic, and adventure.” —Nikki Loftin, author of Wish Girl and Nightingale’s Nest