I had been eagerly awaiting The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle, and was very excited when I finally had time to read it. This middle grade novel was written by Janet Fox.
Katherine Bateson and her siblings are sent to north to Scotland and Rookskill Castle to escape the London Blitz. They are joined by several other children, and they are all the guests of Lady Eleanor, who had graciously turned her manor house into a school for the children.
Almost immediately, Kat senses that something is not quite right about Rookskill Castle. There are strange sounds at night, and the adults all seem to be a little odd. Is the castle housing a Nazi spy? Are there ghosts?
This story was a little different than what I had been expecting. I was thinking that there would be slightly more of a WWII historical fiction element. I do not mean to imply that there wasn’t an element of historical fiction; it just manifested itself in a different way. Regardless of what I had been expecting, I fell in love with this novel. It was creepy and moody. It was delightfully gothic. The reader is slightly more omniscient than Kat, but there are still some elements that are left unexplained until the very end.
I would absolutely recommend The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle. This is a middle grade novel, but I think it hovers between middle grade and young adult. I read with my nine-year-old daughter every night, but I read this one on my own; some of the paranormal elements would have scared her. I’m looking forward to reading more of Janet Fox’s books in the future.