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Enchanted Glass Paperback – April 26, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 790 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061866857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061866852
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on April 17, 2010
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.
SPOILERS:
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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