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Enchanted Glass Hardcover – April 6, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—Professor Andrew Hope inherits Melstone House, a place he had visited as a child, from his grandfather. When he arrives at the manor, everyone seems to know something that he doesn't. He remembers that the stained glass in the kitchen window has great significance, and he soon learns that he is also steward of a "field-of-care" that magically protects the estate. Things get odd when Aidan Cain, an orphan, arrives at the door looking for Andrew's grandfather, and the professor reluctantly takes the boy in. Andrew discovers that someone or something has been encroaching on his property, and with Aidan sets out to discover what. Jones excels at creating quirky, slightly off-center characters, including the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs. Stock; and the gardener, Mr. Stock (no relation); along with leprechaunlike Tarquin O'Connor and his daughter, Stashe, who becomes Andrew's secretary and perhaps more. A giant, Groil, eats the extraordinarily large and inedible vegetables that are left on the roof of the shed each night. This book is filled with the author's singular brand of humor, found in and not at the expense of her characters. The plot is slight, and the novel is not Jones's best, but it is still miles above most current fantasy and will be welcome not only where the author's books are popular, but also where there is an appetite for fantasy.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fantasy is a field crowded with gifted newcomers. What happens when a veteran strides to the plate and takes another swing? If the veteran is Diana Wynne Jones, get your scorecards ready. She hits this irresistible new book out of the ballpark. Magician Jocelyn Brandon had always intended to pass his strange home, Melton House, and his trade secrets on to his grandson, Andrew. Unfortunately, Brandon died before he could complete his careful instructions, and Andrew, now grown, has forgotten much of what his grandfather tried to teach him as a child. The arrival of 12-year-old Aiden, who is seeking protection from dangerous magical beings, reawakens Andrew’s memories. Surrounded by a fabulous cast of eccentric allies, including a parsnip-loving giant, Andrew finds himself in the middle of a mystery surrounding an enchanted glass. With a gleeful nod to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jones hits all the bases, combining fluid storytelling, sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters. The magical chaos culminates in a hilarious summer fete and a delightfully tidy resolution. This enthralling book proves that Jones is still at the top of her game. Grades 6-9. --Lynn Rutan

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1 edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061866849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061866845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,569,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards--and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter--her books were filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy. From the very beginning, Diana Wynne Jones's books garnered literary accolades: her novel Dogsbody was a runner-up for the 1975 Carnegie Medal, and Charmed Life won the esteemed Guardian children's fiction prize in 1977. Since then, in addition to being translated into more than twenty languages, her books have earned a wide array of honors--including two Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honors--and appeared on countless best-of-the-year lists. Her work also found commercial success: in 1992 the BBC adapted her novel Archer's Goon into a six-part miniseries, and her best-selling Howl's Moving Castle was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki in 2004. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006, and became one of the most financially successful Japanese films in history. The author herself has also been honored with many prestigious awards for the body of her work. She was given the British Fantasy Society's Karl Edward Wagner Award in 1999 for having made a significant impact on fantasy, received a D.Lit from Bristol University in 2006, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Fantasy Convention in 2007.

Born just outside London in 1934, Diana Wynne Jones had a childhood that was "very vivid and often very distressing"--one that became the fertile ground where her tremendous imagination took root. When the raids of World War II reached London in 1939, the five-year-old girl and her two younger sisters were torn from their suburban life and sent to Wales to live with their grandparents. This was to be the first of many migrations, one of which brought her family to Lane Head, a large manor in the author-populated Lake District and former residence of John Ruskin's secretary, W.G. Collingwood. This time marked an important moment in Diana Wynne Jones's life, where her writing ambitions were magnified by, in her own words, "early marginal contacts with the Great." She confesses to having "offending Arthur Ransome by making a noise on the shore beside his houseboat," erasing a stack of drawings by the late Ruskin himself in order to reuse the paper, and causing Beatrix Potter (who also lived nearby) to complain about her and her sister's behavior. "It struck me," Jones said, "that the Great were remarkably touchy and unpleasant, and I thought I would like to be the same, without the unpleasantness." Prompted by her penny-pinching father's refusal to buy the children any books, Diana Wynne Jones wrote her first novel at age twelve and entertained her sisters with readings of her stories. Those early stories--and much of her future work--were inspired by a limited but crucial foundation of classics: Malory's Morte D'Arthur, The Arabian Nights, and Epics and Romances of the Middle Ages. Fantasy was Jones's passion from the start, despite receiving little support from her often neglectful parents. This passion was fueled further during her tenure at St. Anne's College in Oxford, where lectures by J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis increased her fascination with myth and legend. She married Medievalist John Burrow in 1956; the couple have three sons and six grandchildren.

After a decade of rejections, Diana Wynne Jones's first novel, Changeover, was published in 1970. In 1973, she joined forces with her lifelong literary agent, Laura Cecil, and in the four decades to follow, Diana Wynne Jones wrote prodigiously, sometimes completing three titles in a single year. Along the way she gained a fiercely loyal following; many of her admirers became successful authors themselves, including Newbery Award winners Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman, and Newbery Honor Book author Megan Whalen Turner. A conference dedicated solely to her work was held at the University of West England, Bristol, in 2009. Diana Wynne Jones continued to write during her battle with lung cancer, which ultimately took her life in March 2011. Her last book, Earwig and the Witch, will be published by Greenwillow Books in 2012.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
PLOT: The old magician's grandson, upon inheriting his grandfather's house, settles in comfortably until young Aidan, on the run, comes to him for protection from the Stalkers who are after him since his grandmother died and her protective spells with her. Andrew is rather new at this and has a very faulty memory. He's not at all sure what he is supposed to do next.

WHY I READ THIS BOOK: Diana Wynne Jones new book! Duh!

WHY I FINISHED READING THIS BOOK: A) Diana Wynne Jones builds her plots masterfully. Think of this book as a wonderful English trifle, layered with light sponge cake, then the custard, fresh berries and a little sweet wine to make it all work together. ENCHANTED GLASS is such an apparently effortless creation, funny and exciting and full of the best magical traditions. She begins at the level of the light sponge cake, her narration all charming quirkiness. You are quickly sucked into thoroughly enjoying the pleasure of simply reading a book because it is B) filled with characters you love reading about, weredogs that change into five year old boys, grouchy housekeepers that cook everlasting dishes of cheese cauliflower whenever they are irritated, etc. Lots of tasty kinds of fresh fruit. While you are reading along happily you realize C) The story has deepened. She's added custard! Jones has brought her tale and her use of magic to another level. Magic is a force, a real force, a force to be reckoned with. By this time, all her characters are swirling together desperately while spells, old earth magic, illusions, and galactic forces even greater than "those who fear iron" are at work. So she pitches in a little fine brandy and the thing really sets up.

Oh, and plenty of whipped cream at the end.

WHO I WOULD GIVE THIS BOOK TO: Great news! This is a true stand alone Jones book. To those readers 9 - 12 who find the early Christopher Chant a bit overwhelming, ENCHANTED GLASS will be a great way to sucker them in!
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Format: Hardcover
Aidan Cain is a boy in need of magical assistance. After the death of his grandmother, he finds himself stalked by sinister creatures. Traveling to the town of Melstone to seek the protection of a powerful sorcerer, Aidan finds the wizard's bumbling grandson Andrew now in charge. Together with a cast of eccentric characters, the two must untangle the mysterious forces that threaten both Aidan and Melstone. The key is a pair of magical colored windows that channel the power of other worlds through their enchanted glass.

Diana Wynne Jones has written approximately 50 books, most of which are fantasy for young people. They frequently focus on the theme of gifted children who have to make a break from abusive or manipulative family members to develop their gifts on their own. Often whimsical, occasionally spooky, and frequently humorous, her novels often deal with a folksy magic with ordinary-seeming people caring for each other and taking responsibility for their world. ENCHANTED GLASS is no exception to this theme.

Neither Aidan nor Andrew has much practice using magic. Aidan has a magic wallet where money appears when he most needs it and a propensity for making friends. Andrew knows he possesses a "field of care," but it is unclear to him how far its boundaries extend or what he must do to maintain it. They are joined by several other characters with dubious magical abilities: a gardener who seems to have a gift for growing enormous and nasty-tasting vegetables, a former jockey with a knack for growing roses, and a passive-aggressive housekeeper who has a habit of bending people to her will.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this audiobook at the library for my children to listen to. I thought since the main character was only twelve or so, it might be a good book for kids who aren't old enough for all the romance and shenanigans in most YA books.
What I liked: The story was delightfully narrated. Steven Crossley created a distinct and perfectly fitting voice for each of the many characters. I found myself laughing a lot and my children thought it was funny as well. The plot moved rather quickly and there wasn't anything too scary or terribly upsetting. It was a sweet story of an orphaned boy finding a place to belong, meeting and interacting with magical beings, and helping his new caretaker learn about his own magical powers. I think it helps a bit to have some knowledge of basic faerie lore: Oberon is the king, Mab is a faerie queen, faeries don't use iron, etc., but this background isn't really necessary. You can figure things out as you go along even if you've never read any faery stories.
What I didn't like: The story of Aiden Kane, and the faerie world that keeps sneaking into his everyday life was fun and entertaining. However, there were some minor curse words, so I decided I better finish the book first to see where it was going before I decided if I wanted my kids to read it. I really loved it, up until the end.
Aiden had sought shelter from the dark shadowy Stalkers that were chasing him at the home of the late Jocelyn Brandon, a well-known magician. Brandon's own adult grandson, Andrew, is now in charge of Jocelyn's magical estate and for most of the book it is assumed that Aiden is being chased by dark faery creatures because he is the child of Oberon, the faery king. At the end of the book, it's revealed that he is actually Jocelyn Brandon's child.
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