The Glass Castle: Book Review

About a week ago, someone introduced me to a new book; The Glass Castle. I read it, and once I finished, it amazed me on how good it was.

Based on the life of the author, Jeannette Walls, the book is set in the Western United States, and later, in New York City. The author struggles in a family in which she is the middle child, with an artist mother who hates to be restricted by anything, and a father who, when he hasn’t been drinking, is a brilliant mathematician and physicist. Lori and Brian, her older sister and younger brother respectively, are some of the only comforts in her poverty-stricken life chosen by their parents. Moving around the country, the family eventually settles in Battle Mountain, Nevada, where they seem to get along fine. Until a local boy develops a fixation on the children and attacks them with a BB gun, prompting Lori to scare him off with their father’s hunting rifle. The neighbors contact the police, and the family flees Battle Mountain. The story continues with the family moving  around the country, and the children all finding their way to New York. The parents decide to continue their life of poverty, scrounging for scraps even as their children find success.

This book is one of my favorites of all time (apart from the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Christie), because of the author’s prodigious control of prose and the raw well of emotion from which the story is told. In fact, Paramount Studios turned it into a movie, starring Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson. The film holds an 83% on Google, 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 7.2/10 on IMDb.

Even though there are sections and concepts usually reserved for more mature readers  than the average middle school student, I would definitely recommend this book for middle school students and staff alike. It is a beautiful, true story about overcoming your obstacles and making the best out of life.


Truman Lindenthaler