I have to admit it. I began listening Sharon Creech's new book, The Castle Corona with skepticism. Not another mistaken-identity-orphan book, I thought. But Creech's power as a "wordsmith" (yes, you have to read the book to find out exactly who that is) won me over and I happily recommend this humorous book to upper elementary students. The short tale that takes place "long ago and far away" has similar themes to other books I have recently reviewed. Like Enter Three Witches: A Story Of Macbeth, the reader discovers the consequences of misunderstood actions. More gently than Carolyn Cooney's rendition of the Shakespeare tragedy (and appropriate to a younger audience) the reader also sees how wanting what one cannot have can shape a person's thoughts, dreams, and actions. And like Keturah and Lord Death, The Castle Corona skillfully weaves together several stories within a story. It makes me hopeful that storytelling is not a lost medieval art!
I hope that the girls and boys who read this book will think about the simple words of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book and consider pearls such as "When one has nothing, then nothing can disappear" and "A thief steals to get what he does not have." Teachers could use this book as an example of how to infuse a story with a moral without hammering the reader over the head with it. (Harper Collins, 2007)