Howl's Moving Castle (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Howl's Moving Castle (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Diana Wynne Jones

Hardcover(Library Binding - THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY)

$17.15 View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

When the Witch of the Waste turns Sophie into an old woman, Sophie must seek her own fortune in a land in which anything can happen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613371513
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 08/28/2001
Series: Howl's Castle Series , #1
Edition description: THIS EDITION IS INTENDED FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 143,895
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.88(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones has been writing outstanding fantasy novels for more than thirty years and is one of the most distinguished writers in this field. With unlimited imagination, she combines dazzling plots, an effervescent sense of humor, and emotional truths in stories that delight readers of all ages. Her books, published to international acclaim, have earned a wide array of honors, including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors and the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award for having made a significant impact on fantasy. Acclaimed director and animator Hayao Miyazaki adapted Howl's Moving Castle into a major motion picture, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Diana Wynne Jones lives in Bristol, England, with her husband, a professor emeritus of English literature at Bristol University. They have three sons.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

In which Sophie talks to hats

In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

Sophie Hatter was the eldest of three sisters. She was not even the child of a poor woodcutter, which might have given her some chance of success. Her parents were well to do and kept a ladies' hat shop in the prosperous town of Market Chipping. True, her own mother died when Sophie was two years old and her sister Lettie was one year old, and their father married his youngest shop assistant, a pretty blonde girl called Fanny. Fanny shortly gave birth to the third sister, Martha. This ought to have made Sophie and Lettle into Ugly Sisters, but in fact all three girls grew up very pretty indeed, though Lettie was the one everyone said was most beautiful. Fanny treated all three girls with the same kindness and did not favor Martha in the least.

Mr. Hatter was proud of his three daughters and sent them all to the best school in town. Sophie was the most studious. She read a great deal, and very soon realized how little chance she had of an interesting future. It was a disappointment to her, but she was still happy enough, looking after her sisters and grooming Martha to seek her fortune when the time came. Since Fanny was always busy in the shop, Sophie was the one who looked after the younger two. There was a certain amount of screaming and hairpulling between those younger two. Lettie was by no means resignedto being the one who, next to Sophie, was bound to be the least successful.

"It's not fair!" Lettie would shout. "Why should Martha have the best of it just because she was born the youngest? I shall marry a prince, so there!"

To which Martha always retorted that she would end up disgustingly rich without having to marry anybody.

Then Sophie would have to drag them apart and mend their clothes. She was very deft with her needle. As time went on, she made clothes for her sisters too. There was one deep rose outfit she made for Lettie, the May Day before this story really starts, which Fanny said looked as if it had come from the most expensive shop in Kingsbury.

About this time everyone began talking of the Witch of the Waste again. It was said the Witch had threatened the life of the King's daughter and that the King had commanded his personal magician, Wizard Suliman, to go into the Waste and deal with the Witch. And it seemed that Wizard Stillman had not only failed to deal with the Witch: he had got himself killed by her.

So when, a few months after that, a tall black castle suddenly appeared on the hills above Market Chipping, blowing clouds of black smoke from its four tall, thin turrets, everybody was fairly sure that the Witch had moved out of the Waste again and was about to terrorize the country the way she used to fifty years ago. People got very scared indeed. Nobody went out alone, particularly at night. What made it all the scarier was that the castle did not stay in the same place. Sometimes it was a tall black smudge on the moors to the northwest, sometimes it reared above the rocks to the east, and sometimes it came right downhill to sit in the heather only just beyond the last farm to the north. You could see it actually moving sometimes, with smoke pouring out from the turrets in dirty gray gusts. For a while everyone was certain that the castle would come right down into the valley before long, and the Mayor talked of sending to the King for help.

But the castle stayed roving about the hills, and it was learned that it did not belong to the Witch but toWizard Howl. Wizard Howl was bad enough. Though he did not seem to want to leave the hills, he was known to amuse himself by collecting young girls and sucking the souls from them. Or some people said he ate their hearts. He was an utterly cold-blooded and heartless wizard and no young girl was safe from him if he caught her on her own. Sophie, Lettie, and Martha, along with all the other girls in Market Chipping, were warned never to go out alone, which was a great annoyance to them. They wondered what use Wizard Howl found for all the souls he collected.

They had other things on their minds before long, however, for Mr. Hatter died suddenly just as Sophie was old enough to leave school for good. It then appeared that Mr. Hatter had been altogether too proud of his daughters. The school fees he had been paying had left the shop with quite heavy debts. When the funeral was over, Fanny sat down in the parlor in the house next door to the shop and explained the situation.

"You'll all have to leave that school, I'm afraid," she said. "I've been doing sums back and front and sideways, and the only way I can see to keep the business going and take care of the three of you is to see you all settled in a promising apprenticeship somewhere. It isn't practical to have you all in the shop. I can't afford it. So this is what I've decided. Lettie first -- "

Howl's Moving Castle. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Howl's Moving Castle 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 529 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best fantasy book I have ever read. The characters are extremely likeable and not one-dimensional. The humor included is great and I love the hilarious situations that Howl creates due to his vanity. The plot is engaging and Howl's Moving Castle is one of those books that you just can't put down. I have read this book over and over again and stil it fails to bore me. Readers beware: Make sure that you give yourself time for it will most likely be that you finish this book in one sitting!
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Sophie is sure that her life is meant to come to nothing, because where she lives the eldest child is always ill-fated. So when times get tough for her family she is content to stay home and work in the family hat shop while her two younger sisters go off to bright futures working in a bakery and learning magic. But when the Witch of the Waste comes into her shop one day and casts a spell on Sophie, making her appear old, she decides to set off into the wider world where she knows no one. When her old bones become tired at the end of her first day of wandering, she finds herself at the edge of the wizard Howl's castle. The castle is enchanted; it moves and blows puffs of smoke constantly. Although Sophie is afraid of Howl because she heard he eats young girls' souls, in the guise of an old woman she thinks she will be safe. With thoughts of finding a warm fireside and a comfy chair, Sophie goes into the castle. She finds Howl's assistant Michael, and his fire demon, Calcifer, but Howl is not in. As Sophie makes herself useful and becomes a part of the castle life, she begins to learn more and more about Howl, Calcifer and Michael. Gradually, as she gets to know them, they become like a second family to her. But can she keep Howl from being taken by the Witch of the Waste? And can she break a magical spell that binds Calcifer to Howl, so the spell on her can be broken as well? Howl's Moving Castle brings up issues of creating family for yourself and seeing people for who they truly are, despite the masks they put up to keep others at a distance. It's about finding love and acceptance, and not being afraid to look for the magic in small moments. The castle itself is fascinating, with its door leading to different villages depending on which colored-button is facing down, its ability to move its location and its permanent window looking onto a sunny port town. Our mother-daughter book club members thought the ending felt a bit rushed, but otherwise we all enjoyed reading it and talking about Sophie, Howl and all the characters. I recommend it for book clubs with daughters aged 13 and up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Howl's moving castle is a wonderful book. It's a quick, fun read, and the writing style of Diana Wynne Jones makes you feel like you're reading an old fairy tale and adds greatly to the charm of the story. However, I don't suggest purchasing this story for the nook. The e-book is filled with typos, which are few and far between when you start out, but then become so frequent that they're actually a distraction, and it doesn't help matters that the occasional word is missing. All in all, the ebook feels as though it were carelessly put together, which I don't remember being the case with the plain old paperback edition. It was a bit of a disappointment.
HonorsReading007 More than 1 year ago
Howl's Moving Castle was recommended to me by a friend who praised it highly. Needless to say I had high expectations, and Diana Wynne Jones did not disappoint. Howl's Moving Castle is the story of a girl named Sophie who accidentally upsets a witch causing her to turn Sophie into an old woman. With nothing to lose, Sophie sets out to seek her fortune. Along the way, she encounters many strange and magical creatures, none more strange or magical than the feared Wizard Howl. Sophie decides to move in with Wizard Howl and his apprentice Michael, and live with them in their fantastic Moving Castle. While there, Sophie makes a pact with a sarcastic fire demon named Calcifer. Calcifer promises to lift the the spell that has been placed on Sophie if she promises to break his contract with Wizard Howl. In her quest to break the contract, Sophie will discover the true Wizard Howl and learn the secrets of the amazing moving castle. While very well written, there are some parts of the story that could be confusing to a younger or less educated reader. This being said, I literally could not bring myself to put this book down as I was reading it. It was as if it were glued to my hands! I heartily recommend this book for anyone with an extensive vocabulary and a reasonable amount of imagination. I also would advise you to see the movie after reading the book because some things will make much more sense. All in all, Howl's Moving Castle is an enchanting story that you will want to read again and again.
Huskies4Lifes More than 1 year ago
You aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but, truth be told, it was the cover of this novel that caught my eye and piqued my curiousity. Just for kicks, I decided to loan it from the library and by the twentieth page, I was at Barnes and Noble, taking home a bag containing the entire series (I'm not a picky spender when it comes to books; I own every Harry Potter book in hardcover). Since then, I have been taking this book everywhere with me, reading in my spare time and enjoying every minute of it. In a generation of literature dominated by paranormal romance, it was refreshing to find this book, even if it was published in the '80s and is therefore considered "old-fashioned and outdated" by my peers. Honestly, though, whether you're a fan of the modern vampire/werewolf-fad or more of an admirer of the classics, odds are you'll fall in love from the first few sentences, like I did. I'm not picky about what I read, as long as it's recommended to me. And I've had my share of that-was-a-total-waste-of-time-that-could-have-been-spent-reading-something-decent books, along with oh-my-goodness-I-didn't-know-it-was-possible-to-write-like-that books. And, trust me, this is the polar opposite of the prior. As American as I may be, I enjoy to finer things in life (as in, not video games and sleazy television shows) like curling up on the couch with a mug of hot tea and an old book that was a favorite of my grandfather. Maybe you can relate. But I'm a huge fan of anything British, and, being a reader and a novelist, I know a good British author from the first chapter. J. K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis...I adore them all. Now it's time to add Diana Wynne Jones to the list. Her writing is so unique, it seems only she can pull it off, and this book is written with all of the style and flavor of the Chronicles of Narnia, and the old-world charm of a sort of wonderful new fairy tale that should never be constrained to simple boundaries. It captures the imagination of readers young and old, and I'm certain it will capture you as well. I would recommend this book to anyone asking for a lesser-known read, and I find it astonishing that it isn't more popular than it is. I hope that you benefit from this review and enjoy this book as much as I. :]
greekgirl98 More than 1 year ago
I liked this book more than the movie. It's lighter and has a lot of humor. The movie was dark full of war, magic, and demons. even if some parts are a little slow, it has a spell in it that you can't put it down until you reach the end. You can't help smiling while you read it. It's like it's enchanted
SfkSmile123 More than 1 year ago
The story captivates you so much! It's imaginative and unlike any story you've read! It's AMAZING!
Ravenswold More than 1 year ago
I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It is a complete delight and worth reading every page; however, at the time I purchased it, it has a lamentable and unacceptable number of typographical errors in it for a paid-for book. It gets quite distracting. I'm not sure I would buy an ebook from this same publisher again, since it seems like they don't deliver even standard publishable quality.
windbell More than 1 year ago
I'm 28 and this is still my very favorite book. It's not just a children's story, either; it can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. The movie is beautifully animated but nothing can replace the charm of Jones's original story, setting, and characters -- the characters especially, since they are unusually memorable. In the magical land of Ingary, a shy young woman named Sophie is the eldest of three sisters. When the infamous Witch of the Waste mistakes Sophie for someone else and turns her into a cranky old woman, Sophie leaves home and seeks shelter inside a moving castle owned by a notorious womanizing wizard named Howl. Rumors throughout Ingary say Howl is heartless, but Sophie insists on working for Howl as a cleaning lady in exchange for room and board. Sophie subsequently discovers that the melodramatic yet secretive Howl is nothing like his reputation, and that Howl, Howl's young apprentice Michael, and resident fire demon Calcifer are all in need of Sophie's help. Can Sophie help Howl and her new friends AND defeat the Witch of the Wastes? And can Howl and friends help Sophie? Diana Wynne Jones combines fantasy, mystery, action, humor, and romance for a really enjoyable tale that has become very popular over the years. I'm really glad this is now available as an eBook so that I can pick it up whenever I want.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written book and I loved the movie!
ZeroBXU More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Highly recommended for young adults, fans of the movie, or Neil Gaiman fans. Looking at previous reviews, I believe whatever problems may have been present in earlier version of the eBook are no longer present.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One reason why this book is hard to put down is because it is 100 percent original. You'll never know what will happen next. Humorous, wily, and detailed, this is a great book to add to anyone's fantasy collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is one of those few stories that stay with you throughout your life. I've never read anything so peculiar but hey..! It's all good! I really enjoyed the twists and hidden messages within the story. For some reason I really liked Michael. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because he freaked out when Sophie began cleaning up the place.
Xilo More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book for all ages! However, the book is very different from the movie, it is still very wonderful and catches your attention on every page. Sophie, is the eldest of three sisters, she has to stay behind to take over her fathers hat shop while her two other sisters move on to different apprentices. One day while she is working in the hat shop the wicked witch of the waste pays her a visit and tuns her in to an old woman. Sophie, is so embarrased by what she has become that she sets out on an adventure. When she gets tired and can't move any more howl's castle appears and she ends up letting herself in. After that she ends up working for howl as a maid. At first Sophie is afraid of howl because of all the rumors she has been hearing, but soon finds out that she grows more and more fond of him with each day passing. When I read this book i could not put it down!!! She also has a sequal to this book called house of many ways which is also a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like the movie, you may or may not like the book. The movie takes many liberties that have nothing to do with the book at all. However, the redeeming factor about the movie vs. book is that they are so different that they are two separate entities. I enjoy both immensely!
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
The first time I ever heard of this book was in 2006 when we lived in St. Louis, MO, and a friend of our younger son Jeremy with whom he played homeschool baseball, gave a report in a local homeschool Network newsletter. A few years later, after we had moved from St. Louis to Salem, IL, we picked Howl’s Moving Castle, made from the book in 2004 by Hayao Miyazaki, for a family video. The film generally follows the book, but as Jackson noted there are some major differences. I read several reviews by people who actually liked the movie better than the book. The main complaints about the novel are that it is has poor character development, flimsy story lines, implausible plot devices, and too many words yet not enough real description. Personally, I found the book well-written and generaly easy to read with a fair amount of excitement, but I did note a few concerns. First, the plot has an almost “absurdist” quality to it. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but some people may not care for that sort of story. There are some common euphemisms, such as “drat” and “confound it,” a few curse-like terms (“damnation” and “Hell’s teeth”), and one instance of the word “Lord” used as an exclamation. Howl has as reputation as a womanizer, courting girls until they fall in love with him then dropping them for someone else but nothing sexual is actually implied. References to drinking beer, brandy, and wine occur, and Howl comes home drunk once towards the end. If you prefer not to have your children reading books which contain magic or witchcraft, you would obviously want to avoid this one. I do make a distinction between books which I believe promote an interest in the occult, such as Harry Potter, and those where the magic or witchcraft is simply part of the fictional setting of a story. Howl’s Moving Castle comes about as close to the former as possible, and only the “absurdist” nature of the plot might keep it from falling into that category. Author Diana Wynne Jones, was born in London, England, on August 16, 1934, the daughter of Marjorie (née Jackson) and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were educators. She is a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. Some of her better-known works include the Chrestomanci series. Her books range from a broad, almost slapstick delight in the construction of absurd-yet-logical situations, especially evident in the endings of some of her books, to sharp social observation, to witty parody of literary forms. Foremost amongst the latter are her Tough Guide to Fantasyland, a non-fiction work on clichés in fantasy fiction that has a cult following as a reference among writers and critics, despite being difficult to find due to an erratic printing history, and its fictional companion-pieces Dark Lord of Derkholm (1998) and Year of the Griffin (2000), which provide a merciless, though not unaffectionate, critique of formulaic sword-and-sorcery epics. Charmed Life, the first book in the Chrestomanci series, won the 1977 Guardian Award for Children’s Books. Archer's Goon (1984), a Boston Globe - Horn Book Honor Book and World Fantasy Award for Best Novel nominee, was adapted for television in 1992. According to her autobiography, Diana has been an atheist since she was ten. Howl's Moving Castle won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and was named an ALA Notable book for both children and young adults. A sequel
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't think this sounded like a very interesting book at first(the first chapter was a little bland) but I soon found myself reading this book everywhere I went, even at a denny's restaurant with my grandparents. I finished it craving more. That's the kind of reader I am, but seriously, this book was very good. It had everything. Comedy, drama, fantasy things, a good plot, romance, and great characters. Especially Howl. Email me if you agree with me about this book, or just want to talk about it. :D
WitchyWriter 10 months ago
Anything written by Diana Wynne Jones is magical. She proves it over and over again in my favorites, the Chronicles of Chrestomanci. (Yes, for anyone who knows me well, I *do* enjoy The Chronicles of Chrestomanci just a tad bit more than the Howl trilogy. *gasp* For those of you who don’t know me well, this is surprising because Howl’s Moving Castle has been my favorite movie for a very long time.) I can’t write about this book without comparing it to the movie, since I saw the movie first. And it’s a fabulous movie. It has so much that I love in it. The book, of course, has so many other, slightly different things that I love. It has a willful female protagonist. A slightly spoilt but ultimately good-hearted love interest. Supporting characters who are unique and prickly and make you love them before you even realize it. Unfortunately, I’d also read The Chronicles of Chrestomanci prior to reading the Howl trilogy. And those…well. It’s really hard to beat them. So while I love Howl and Sophie and their story and their cast of fun characters, I love them just slightly less than I love Christopher and Eric Chant and Millie and all the rest. I think the magic system in this book is wonderful—a front door that is actually a portal to other worlds! A witch who exercises her power just by talking things into being what she wants them to be. A fire demon, sorcerers, glamour spells, etc. There’s just a *lot* going on. The movie simplifies things a bit, and it can be hard to keep up with what is happening in the book because there are more characters in play, and things wrap up in unexpected ways. **spoiler alert** At least in the movie I could see the slow burn of Sophie falling in love with Howl, since the spell falls off her and she appears younger when she’s feeling love toward him. In the book that’s harder to track, so it’s a little more startling when at the end of the book they’re exhibiting that. Still, the only reason I can nitpick about these minute details is because the story and characters are so beloved. Seriously, they feel like old friends. And the writing is tight otherwise, with beautiful settings and really excellent characterization. And the magic. Ponies, you should absolutely read everything by Diana Wynne Jones, just to bring more magic into your life. We all need more magic, after all. And to be fair, the second and third books in this trilogy don’t give me any opportunity to nitpick. They’re tight, and expand this amazing world in beautiful and inspired ways. So go read this so you can overanalyze it in comparison to the movie—and more importantly, so you can read #2 and #3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book quite a few years ago, years after watching the film (which I adored). I don't know if I've ever read a fantasy story that was so creative and humorous. As much as I loved the movie (and prefer parts of it to this book) I certainly favor the book's story. In particular, I never cared for the war story in the movie version. Without it, the book story is more intimate and personable. Diana has such a way of describing the characters, both main and secondary, that make them jump off the page. My favorite part of this story, however, is Howl. I don't think I have ever read about such an interesting, complex, and unique main character/deuteragonist (let alone a love interest) in my life. I find his character very inspiring and have been reading other books ever since, trying to find a character as equally unique as he is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ioved the movie
twilightnocturne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Howl¿s Moving Castle,¿ by Dianna Wynne Jones is a magical tale that takes place in the town of Market Chipping; a land where all is possible. The story begins introducing us to our main character, Sophie. As her younger sisters prepare to leave home and seek the fortunes of life, sister Sophie, being the eldest, is assigned to stay behind and run the family hat shop. Unfortunately for her, running a hat shop is incredibly dull; that is, until the witch of the wastes drops by. After a brief confrontation, Sophie is left feeling a bit different ¿ a bit stiff. She soon comes to realize that an awful spell has been cast upon her; one that has turned her into an old woman. This then ignites the fire of the story as Sophie sets off on her own journey; a journey that leads her straight to the eerie castle that looms above the town ¿ Howl¿s Moving Castle.This is one fantasy novel that I¿ve been meaning to read for ages. While I never truly forgot about it, I kept putting it off. Part of my reluctance came from the fact that it appeared to be a novel directed toward much younger readers. While there¿s certainly nothing wrong with young adult/children¿s literature, I wasn¿t convinced that it would be something I could connect to. Nevertheless, the description intrigued me, and much of the reviews were quite positive. So despite my reluctance, I picked it up and jumped in. I¿ll say right now that I¿m pleased that I did. ¿Howl¿s Moving Castle¿ was an incredibly entertaining and fun read. Here¿s why:To start, the characters were great; so great in-fact, that it was nearly impossible to single any out as favorites. I will say, however, that Sophie was one of the most enjoyable characters I¿ve read in a long time. Not only was she strong-willed and brave ¿ but hilarious, witty, and a bit mad. She had a big heart and it really showed. Aside from Sophie, we also had the all-powerful Wizard Howl. As I was introduced to his character, I have to admit that I was actually rather surprised. For whatever reason, I expected something reminiscent of king Haggard from ¿The Last Unicorn;¿ someone depressed, mopey, unlikeable. He was quite the opposite (though prone to leaking green slime when depressed). Oh and yes, we can¿t forget Calcifer, an adorable puppy-dog-like fire demon; Michael, Howl¿s young apprentice; a creepy scarecrow, and the witch of the wastes. To say the least, I was really impressed with Jones¿s ability to create such diverse and interesting characters.In addition, there was also the writing. Well, what can I say? It was equally as impressive. As stated above, when I decided to begin ¿Howl¿s Moving Castle,¿ I was expecting something crafted for a much younger audience. My assumption however, was quickly destroyed. After reading just a few chapters, I soon found that it was much more; and while kids could definitely get a kick out of it, nothing was dumbed down. The overall language was impressive; the pacing was perfect; the tone was amusing. Diana Wynne Jones is clearly a witty and clever author, and her style in ¿Howl¿s Moving Castle¿ was both comfortable and easy to follow; yet at the same time, well-written and carefully detailed. Her words were like art, flowing from page to page; her humor had me cracking a smile through-out. This wasn¿t like reading, this was like taking a journey.Lastly, the story itself was refreshing, creative, and fun. From Sophie¿s odd predicament, to Calcifer the fire demon, to magic spells and shooting stars, ¿Howl¿s Moving Castle¿ was jam packed with wonder and enchantment. While reading this lovely tale, I found myself never knowing what would happen next ¿ and with Wizard Howl in the picture (who was a very skilled wizard, mind you), anything was possible. Aside from that, things progressed swiftly, and there was never a dull or boring moment; there was a huge amount of character development, leading all the way up to the final page, and there were even a few interesting plot twists. Overall, this st
Goldengrove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful book about a place where magic, seven league boots, witches and evil enchantments are alla part of everyday life. Sophie assumes that, as the eldest daughter, she is bound to have an uneventful life - after all, in fairy tales it is the youngest that breaks enchantments and marries the prince against all odds. But in spite of her disadvantages Sophie manages to have adventures, and her kindness gains her some unlikely allies.The story pulls the reader along with humour, lots of action, and clues to pick up on the way as Sophie tries to solve the puzzle of Howl's curse and his pact with the fire demon.
PigOfHappiness on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While the book differs from the movie version (which I saw first), it is of course, better. Dealing with magic, good and evil, witches and warlocks, and many other fantastical elements, this book is sure to dazzle the imagination. Appropriate for fourth grade and beyond (subject to change based on the individual)...
dragonimp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A charming book with a nice blend of whimsy and reality, with believable, likable characters and an engaging story.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first introduction to Diana Wynne Jones, and I couldn't find more fast enough. Jones has a way of taking traditional fairy tale elements and standing them on their heads -- this is no exception.Poor Sophie believes she is condemned to a dull and boring life in the family flower shop, while her two younger sisters are destined for greater things. Younger sisters Lettie and Martha have their own ideas about that, as does the girls' "evil" stepmother. Is Wizard Howl really a duplicitous seducer of young girls? Why is the headless stick man chasing Sophie? And just who or what is Calcifer? Expect the unexpected, as very few characters are what they seem.