!Epub ♋ Castle Hangnail ⚖ PDF or E-pub free

!Epub ♍ Castle Hangnail ⚔ From the creator of Dragonbreath comes a tale of witches, minions, and one fantastic castle, just right for fans of Roald Dahl and Tom AnglebergerWhen Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle s minions are understandably dubious After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor sharp cheekbones But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed So wicked REALLY wicked and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all that she isn t who she says she isThis quirky, richly illustrated novel is filled with humor, magic, and an unforgettable all star cast of castle characters Now first and foremost, Ursula Vernon s Castle Hangnail is simply entertainingly humorous with mild, generally very much palatable creepiness and presenting, featuring a sweetly appealing if not lovable young heroine, as well as delightfully showing the uplifting message that one can accomplish one s desired goals even if one might not necessarily be the so called perfect fit such as in Castle Hangnail with Molly trying to fit into her role as the new wicked witch of the castle and finally re Now first and foremost, Ursula Vernon s Castle Hangnail is simply entertainingly humorous with mild, generally very much palatable creepiness and presenting, featuring a sweetly appealing if not lovable young heroine, as well as delightfully showing the uplifting message that one can accomplish one s desired goals even if one might not necessarily be the so called perfect fit such as in Castle Hangnail with Molly trying to fit into her role as the new wicked witch of the castle and finally realising that she just needs to be herself, that being wicked is not the same as being evil, that she can actually and even be kindly compassionate without having to be a boringly and tediously mundanely goody goody two shoes And indeed, and further, while I have definitely very much enjoyed the humour and often deliciously uncanny hilarity of much of Castle Hangnail, as an adult reader, I also definitely appreciate and cheer the fact that Ursula Vernon does not shy away from demonstrating that especially young Molly seems to have some seriously heavy dare I say grown up issues on her proverbial plate so to speak that Molly constantly feels she is an imposter, that she has had to deal with rather massive amounts of what can only be labelled as bullying, of being constantly imposed upon and denigrated by her nearest and supposedly dearest, and that at present, she is in the process of learning how to deal with such types of issues and demands with a firm and decisive NO, no matter how difficult and painful that may be A solid and yes also warmly recommended three star novel is Castle Hangnail and the only reason why I am not quite ready to grant four stars is that personally, and I do realise that I seem to be rather the minority here, I have found Ursula Vernon s writing style, while indeed mostly fun and engagingly wry, also at times rather artificial and to and for me as simply trying to darn hard to be funny Fun fantasy kids book the denizens of a crumbling castle under threat of being magically decommissioned are surprised when their replacement wicked witch turns out to be a 12 year old girl, five feet tall and very determined Hijinks ensue.The interesting train of thought this one started in me was about women s quests, and how they differ from men s quests With the usual romance elements of such a story tossed out, the protagonist being twelve, the other essential parts of the pattern come i Fun fantasy kids book the denizens of a crumbling castle under threat of being magically decommissioned are surprised when their replacement wicked witch turns out to be a 12 year old girl, five feet tall and very determined Hijinks ensue.The interesting train of thought this one started in me was about women s quests, and how they differ from men s quests With the usual romance elements of such a story tossed out, the protagonist being twelve, the other essential parts of the pattern come into much better focus, and it becomes clear that the goal of a woman s quest coming of age tale is, exogamically, a House Of One s Own In prior eras, the only way to a house was through a guy happily, this is less the case today Food for thought, and I rec the book as data for those working on female counter Joseph Campbell theories Campbell is fun, but the bits of him I ve read do seem to systematically and rather emphatically leave out half the human race in his quest for universal patterns.Ta, L Now thinking about male bower birds And female bower birds, for that matter I have always enjoyed the way that Terry Pratchett books can be enjoyed on many levels On the surface, they are cute There s no other way to describe it But dig just a tiny bit deeper and there is a world of intelligent commentary not HIDDEN from the mid grade reader, just not bludgeoning them with morality or ethics.Vernon has accomplished the same trick with Castle Hangnail On the first level, it s a story about a little witch, a little castle, a little list of tasks to be accomp I have always enjoyed the way that Terry Pratchett books can be enjoyed on many levels On the surface, they are cute There s no other way to describe it But dig just a tiny bit deeper and there is a world of intelligent commentary not HIDDEN from the mid grade reader, just not bludgeoning them with morality or ethics.Vernon has accomplished the same trick with Castle Hangnail On the first level, it s a story about a little witch, a little castle, a little list of tasks to be accomplished Molly is short and maybe a little pudgy, with fuzzy brown hair and brown eyes and decided opinions about gardening, food, and not wanting to be the Good Twin She wants to be a Wicked Witch, but not an EVIL Witch, and she has a kind streak a mile wide, which is not at all the same thing as being Nice, or even Good I feel like it s a loving nod at who Granny Weatherwax might have started out as, without being tediously derivative Molly is herself.I just handed this book to my 12 year old, who squealed and said, YAY NEW URSULA I ll append his review, but so far he has forgotten he has an open bag of Cheezits by his hand too busy reading.On another level, Molly has a lot of grown up problems She is battling to be recognized as competent at her job, because she doesn t look like what people expect She has impostor syndrome, and is pretty sure she is not qualified, even though she is managing all her tasks competently And then there is the abusive friendship she has been in, where someone older andpowerful than she is has made her feel weak and powerless, and somehow to blame for that I m not saying a 12 year old will say, hey, I m in an abusive friendship , but I hope that sometime in their lives they will think of Molly saying no and firmly stopping someone from making her feel bad That would be a beautiful outcome.I loved Molly, of course, in her kindness and flailing and willingness to really work at a problem I also loved the Majordomo who has his own relationship traumas and angers to overcome The supporting cast was all lovely and warm and individual, even Dragon the Donkey and the non speaking characters It was very much a story about community and mutuality.The writing was wry and funny without being inaccessible for moderate readers The illustrations, as one expects, are charming and just faintly creepy The book as a whole is just lovely, and it makes me happy to have read it and happy to give it to my kids.Read if You like spunky, practical heroines You are not on a medical regimen that prevents giggling.Skip if You are allergic to girl power or the thought that 12 year olds can change small parts of the world.Also read The Tiffany Aching books in the Discworld series Um, first let me say the blurb is ridiculous I don t know who Tom Angleburger is, and I would if he were a relevant comparison Roald Dahl is a whole nother vibe, except maybe for The BFG A better comparison would be to Eva Ibbotson in that the emphasis is on kindness and respect for all creatures in a magical setting with plenty of adventure humor.On its own merits, this is enchanting Molly is a wonderful person, very real The world building and all the supporting cast are rich, interest Um, first let me say the blurb is ridiculous I don t know who Tom Angleburger is, and I would if he were a relevant comparison Roald Dahl is a whole nother vibe, except maybe for The BFG A better comparison would be to Eva Ibbotson in that the emphasis is on kindness and respect for all creatures in a magical setting with plenty of adventure humor.On its own merits, this is enchanting Molly is a wonderful person, very real The world building and all the supporting cast are rich, interesting, and original The themes morals are pretty light, suitable for fans of family animation movies, but still worth discussing if the whole family reads this together.And I do recommend you read it together I had trouble getting up for any housework and instead read it in one mesmerized afternoon.I m not raving it as a must read, mind, but I am def rounding up to 4 full stars and recommending it to all who are considering it After sitting, master less, for several years Castle Hangnail is being threatened with decommissioning At their wits end, the castles minions have sent out invitations to every wicked witch, sorceress and mad scientist they could find, to no avail Until finally, one day the head minion opens the door to find a 12 year old girl on their doorstep self proclaimed wicked witch and evil twin, Molly.At least her boots look properly wicked This story is pretty solid, plot wise Wit After sitting, master less, for several years Castle Hangnail is being threatened with decommissioning At their wits end, the castles minions have sent out invitations to every wicked witch, sorceress and mad scientist they could find, to no avail Until finally, one day the head minion opens the door to find a 12 year old girl on their doorstep self proclaimed wicked witch and evil twin, Molly.At least her boots look properly wicked This story is pretty solid, plot wise With as many funny moments as there are action filled scenes, it s sure to keep the attention of it s readers The plot also presents an important lesson for children on bullies and friendship which, while not subtle in it s presentation, is written in a way that makes it not only integral to the story but still leaves the story interesting to readers The character of Molly was adorable, and you can easily empathize with her and want to cheer her on as she goes about trying to earn her mastery of Castle Hangnail as well as sympathize with her in regards to her past as an evil twin to a nauseatingly sweet good twin The rest of the cast is quite likeable as well, with their own quirks and personalities Every character is fairly well developed, from Majordomo, the igor type of head minion and his memories of masters past to Pins a cloth poppet who acts as the castle tailor Readers will cheer Molly on in her quest to gain her castle, even as she commits her most wicked of deeds turning a farmer s donkey into a dragon with the intent of giving the man a good scare after she becomes aware of his mistreatment of his animals Dnf for now This isn t a bad book I actually liked the beginning, but then it kind lost momentum, and the thing became kind of boring.Maybe I ll give it another chance one day. Do you miss Eva Ibbotson Do you weep softly into your handkerchief that she has died and we will never have another one of her books Do you want to love Eva Ibbotson but she hates fat people too much BOY DO I HAVE A BOOK REC FOR YOU Castle Hangnail is so cute but not saccharine that I m going to write the summary in short declarative sentences If I try to make you read longer sentences about Castle Hangnail s plot, the adorability will be too much for you and you will die in the middle Do you miss Eva Ibbotson Do you weep softly into your handkerchief that she has died and we will never have another one of her books Do you want to love Eva Ibbotson but she hates fat people too much BOY DO I HAVE A BOOK REC FOR YOU Castle Hangnail is so cute but not saccharine that I m going to write the summary in short declarative sentences If I try to make you read longer sentences about Castle Hangnail s plot, the adorability will be too much for you and you will die in the middle Castle Hangnail and its minions desperately need a new master If they don t get one, the castle will be decommissioned Twelve year old Molly shows up to be their master She s a Wicked Witch Sort of The minions are dubious Molly sets about trying to meet the requirements of a castle master There is also a foe to conquer Really, Jenny You say you re going to use short declarative sentences but you can t get through a paragraph without an if then construction No wonder WordPress always gives you a frowny face for readability Much as Eva Ibbotson s middle grade fantasies, Castle Hangnail has a cast of dear, adorable, strange characters All the denizens of Castle Hangnail, whom Molly quickly comes to love because nobody could not love them, are absolute cinnamon rolls Here s the description that killed me stone dead, of a minion who is not exactly a voodoo doll but sort of maybe Pins lived in a small room over the laundry with a talking goldfish The goldfish was intensely neurotic and convinced that she was always sickening for something Pins took very tender care of the fish and was currently knitting her a very small waterproof scarf.I WOULD DIE FOR PINS.Castle Hangnail strikes me as the kind of book I would have loved to have read at age seven, kept through the years as it became steadilyandbattered, and realized as an adult contained a lotemotional insight and wisdom than I had realized as a child It s the perfect marriage of Eva Ibbotson quirk and charm and Diana Wynne Jones insight And I m going to make a controversial statement here I loved Castle Hangnail better than I loved The Worst Witch and Island of the Aunts, my two favorites of Eva Ibbotson s middle grade fantasies YES I DID.This hasn t been much of a review, but I feel like that description of Pins and his goldfish is the perfect encapsulation of what this book is If you liked it, you ll like Castle Hangnail If you didn t, I am confused by you as a person Castle Hangnail is the adorable, middle grade antidote to everything that s wrong with the world Please buy it and read it as soon as possible PS Legal Sister bought this for me as a present at WorldCon Which was so sweet But even sweeter is that she ran into Ursula Vernon while buying it, and Ursula Vernon signed it for me and wrote Minions rule What a gem I will treasure it always this review was posted first at These are dark times for children s fantasy Dark times indeed Which is to say, when I pick up a fantasy novel for kids,often than not I find the books filled with torture, violence, bloody blood, and other various unpleasant bits and pieces And honestly That is fine There are a lot of kids out there who lap up gore like it was mother s milk Still, it s numbing Plus I really wish that there wasstuff out there for the younger kiddos The ones who have entered the wide and wonder These are dark times for children s fantasy Dark times indeed Which is to say, when I pick up a fantasy novel for kids,often than not I find the books filled with torture, violence, bloody blood, and other various unpleasant bits and pieces And honestly That is fine There are a lot of kids out there who lap up gore like it was mother s milk Still, it s numbing Plus I really wish that there wasstuff out there for the younger kiddos The ones who have entered the wide and wonderful world of children s fantasy and would rather not read about trees eating people or death by cake Maybe they d like something funny with lovable characters and a gripping plot Even Harry Potter had its dark moments, but in the early volumes the books were definitely for the younger readers Certainly we have the works of Eva Ibbotson and Ruth Chew, but newer books are always welcome, particularly if they re funny Maybe that s part of the reason why Castle Hangnail blew me away as much as it did Here we have a story that knows exactly what it is, what it wants to do, and manages to be hilarious and charming all at the same time If you like your children s fantasy novels full of psychotic villains and mind numbing action sequences, seek ye elsewhere This one s for the kids To some, Castle Hangnail might appear to be a pathetic rundown little backwater but to the minions who live there it s home A home desperately in need of a new Master and Mistress After all, if they don t get someone soon the castle might be sold off and destroyed Maybe that s why everyone has such mixed feelings at first when Molly appears Molly is short and young and wearing some very serious black boots She looks like a 12 year old kid and Majordomo, the guardian of the castle, is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she s supposed to be their new Wicked Witch Yet when he gives her the necessary tasks to make Castle Hangnail her own, Molly appears to have a couple tricks up her sleeve She may have her secrets but everything seems to be okaythat is until the REAL master of Castle Hangnail arrives to claim it.Basically what we have here is Downton Abbey for kids, albeit with significantlydragon donkeys and isn t Majordomo SUCH a Carson This raises the question of where precisely this book takes place Remembering that author Ursula Vernon herself is not actually British, one supposes that the story could be read as a U.S tale Due to its distinct Eva Ibbotson flavor, the initial inclination is to see the book as British Our picturesque little towns pale in comparison to their picturesque little towns, and we ve far fewer castles lying about the place Still, there s no reason it couldn t be American After all, I ve seen many an American author fall into the trap of putting cockney characters into their books for no apparent reason Vernon has a good head on her shoulders She s not falling for that game Truly a book like this hinges on the characters created If you don t believe in them or don t like them then you won t want us to follow them into your tale You have to sympathize with Majordomo, even when he does some unfortunate things You have to like Molly, even when you don t initially understand her back story It takes a little while but Vernon also makes it clear how someone can be wicked as opposed to evil Wicked was turning somebody into an earwig and letting them run around for a week to give them a good scare Evil was turning someone into an earwig and then stepping on them An evil heroine is tricky to love A wicked one is on par with your average 12 year old reader Speaking of characters, Vernon makes some very interesting narrative choices as well For example, our heroine is introduced to us for the first time on page six However around Chapter 33 she disappears from the storyline and really doesn t appear again until Chapter 39 You have to have a very strong supporting cast to get away with that one It would be a lot of fun to ask kid readers who their favorite character was Did they prefer Pins or his neurotic goldfish The minotaurs or the moles Me, I like em all The whole kooky gang For a certain kind of reader, there s going to be a lot of allure to having minions as lovable as these Even the lightest bit of middle grade fluff needs a strong emotional core to keep it grounded If there s nothing to care for then there s nothing to root for For me, the heart of this particular tale lies in Molly s relationship with the evil sorceress and teenaged Eudaimonia Lots of kids have the experience of wanting to befriend someone older and meaner The desire to please can lead a person to act unlike themselves As Molly says, It s like a weird kind of magicLike a spell that makes you feel like it s all your fault Molly also wrestles with being different from her kittens and sparkles loving twin and so the theme of finding yourself and your own talents come to the fore And now a word in praise of humor Funny is hard Funny fantasy That s even harder Vernon has always blown away the competition in the hilarity department Pick up any Danny Dragonbreath comic and you ll see what I m talking about She can sustain a narrative for an early chapter book, sure, but full blown novels are a different kettle of fish is that a mixed metaphor So how does she do You d swear she d been churning these puppies out for years Here are three of my favorite lines in celebration Harrow was one of those people who is born mean and continues to lose ground Magic was a requirement in a new Master, unless you were a Mad Scientist, and Molly didn t look like the sort to hook lightning rods up to cadavers while wild Theremins wailed in the background For there are very powerful spells that are very simple, but unless you happen to be the right sort of person, they will not work at all And a good thing too You can raise the dead with five words and a hen s egg, but natural Necromancers are very rare Fortunately they tend to be solemn, responsible people, which is why we are not all up to our elbows in zombies Parents wander into the children s room of a library They ask the librarian at the desk to recommend a fantasy novel for their 8 year old Nothing too scary , they say Maybe something funny Do you have anything funny Until now the librarian might try a little Ibbotson or a touch of E.D Baker Perhaps a smattering of Jessica Day George would do Still, of all of these Castle Hangnail appeals to the youngest crowd At the same time, it can be equally enjoyed by older kids too Smart and droll, it s the fantasy you ve always wanted to hand to the 10 year old Goth girl in your life along with, let s face it, everybody else you know A true crowd pleaser 4.5 STARS It was a marvelously dark and dour twilight at the castle Clouds the color of bruises lay across the hills The castle guardian was pleased Sadly, Castle Hangnail was not surrounded by jagged mountains, which would have been ideal, but you couldn t have everything The grassy hills around the castle were doing their best impression of a blasted moor The guardian tried not to notice the dandelions growing on the hillside They were much too cheerful He would have a word with th 4.5 STARS It was a marvelously dark and dour twilight at the castle Clouds the color of bruises lay across the hills The castle guardian was pleased Sadly, Castle Hangnail was not surrounded by jagged mountains, which would have been ideal, but you couldn t have everything The grassy hills around the castle were doing their best impression of a blasted moor The guardian tried not to notice the dandelions growing on the hillside They were much too cheerful He would have a word with the gardener tomorrow The ravens assured him that a new Master or Mistress of the castle would arrive tonight an Evil Wizard, now well, there was a lot to be said for an Evil Wizard Or a witch A Wicked Witch would be just fine Perhaps she d even have a cat The guardian was fond of cats I loved this book from the opening pages It s just pitch perfect I just felt so perfectly immersed in the world, in the characters, in the mood of the story It s conversational and confidential without being irritating, I felt like we were old friends at once Molly is an endearing protagonist who must nevertheless learn and grow and the minions all lend something special and valuable to the story while maintaining separate and engaging personalities I found myself surprised at a few twists the story took and I also appreciated how earlier elements came into play in the climax I especially appreciated the message about not letting others control you, or make you feel powerless, that you should take care not to belittle yourself when really you might not be the one with the problem in the relationship I can t say too much without giving major plot points away but I feel it s a very valuable lesson and that it was wisely and beautifully handled here, without being heavy handed I probably would have given this five stars but the ending disappointed me The primary conflict resolution was just fine, but the last chapter left me a little disenchanted I wantedhonesty and I really wish one of the situations had been handled differently I suppose it could be a discussion point for parents reading with their children Sigh Otherwise, I think of the book with complete affection and highly recommend it It s a great read around Halloween, too, as it has a few very mild creepy spooky elements but it s mostly just charming and humorous and utterly winsome