Castle – David Macaulay


Image from amazon.com

  • Age Range: 10 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 – 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1180L
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; English Language edition (October 25, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395329205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395329207

EXCERPT from Amazon.com Review:
Imagine yourself in 13th-century England. King Edward I has just named the fictitious Kevin le Strange to be the Lord of Aberwyvern–“a rich but rebellious area of Northwest Wales.” Lord Kevin’s first task is to oversee the construction of a strategically placed castle and town in order to assure that England can “dominate the Welsh once and for all.” And a story is born! In the Caldecott Honor Book Castle, David Macaulay–author, illustrator, former architect and teacher–sets his sights on the creation and destiny of Lord Kevin’s magnificent castle perched on a bluff overlooking the sea. Brick by brick, tool by tool, worker by worker, we witness the methodical construction of a castle through exquisitely detailed pen-and-ink illustrations. Children who love to know how things work especially appreciate Macaulay’s passion for process and engineering. Moats, arrow loops, plumbing, dungeons, and weaponry are all explained in satisfying detail. This talented author also has a keen sense of irony and tragedy, which is played out in the intricacies of the human story: a castle can be built as a fortress, but ultimately it becomes obsolete when humans discover that cooperation works best.

Rationale for Inclusion:
This book, published in 1982, explores the classic architecture and construction of castles. Especially relevant with its STEM emphasis, Castle illustrates real-world examples of applied math and engineering.

Bonus: CASTLE the movie!
CASTLE combines colorful animation with live-action documentary sequences to tell the story of a 13th-century Welsh castle. Author David Macaulay, who wrote and illustrated the best-selling book of the same title, leads viewers on a castle tour, explaining its cultural and sociological significance and its architectural design. Detailed animation dramatizes the building of the castle and portrays the lifestyle of the early inhabitants.

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