Review: The Castle Tower Lighthouse, presented by Patrick H. T. Doyle
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
presented by Patrick H. T. Doyle
Armadillo Books for Young Readers (Ages 9-12)
ISBN 0978613201; Paperback, 213 pages
Patrick Doyle's "The Castle Tower Lighthouse" is a delightful summer mystery for young readers. Patrick Doyle presents the tale of Edgar Font's Hunt for a House to Haunt (making the full title of the book a real mouthful, but a fun one). The book is fun through and through, down to a puzzle at the end for the reader to solve on their own. It's cleverly illustrated, and its tale-within-a-tale is engaging.
Doyle uses the conceit that the story has been given to him by Edgar Font, as recorded by Edgar Font's two grandchildren, Audrey and Garrett. Edgar Font is a capricious adventurer, somehow past his prime yet ready to take on anything--including his two grandchildren, who are precocious but overall _unadventuresome_ children. Edgar's answer to that is to drive them into the waters of adventure by making them integral to his summer's quest.
Edgar introduces them to the world of ghosts, as he outlines their intended journey--while not dead yet (and it's hard to imagine such a formidable person "passing on"), he wants to find a singular place to live out his eternity. The grandchildren are appropriately skeptical to begin with, but by the end of the book they're reasonably well converted--all in the span of a day.
It's a quick read, much more fluid than "wandering around the house and picking up clues" might suggest. The characters are fleshed out, for the age range, and I expect we'll learn much more about them in further installments, as they learn more about themselves. We're not told where they'll adventure to next, but there's a photograph marked, "Exploring the site for Adventure Two" in the back, and an arrow showing that it's "just over yonder". (And a glimpse at Amazon tells us that Adventure Two takes us to The Fakersville Power Station; and that that will be available July 1st!)
I heartily recommend this for the young (it's marked ages 9 and up), and the young at heart.
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