When I was a kid my mom read to me a lot. I don’t remember how old I was when she read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones to me. I do remember we started reading it because I was home sick. It was one of the first books she read to me that she hadn’t actually vetted first; so we were both surprised at the same time by the twist’s and turns of the book. I completely forgot that I was sick.
The story starts out with Sophie trimming hats in her step mothers hat shop. Sophie believes she is never going to amount to much or have any adventures because she is the first child of three and everyone knows that the first child is never the one to succeed at anything in life. She has resigned herself to making hats for the rest of her life, but then the Witch of the Waste sweeps into the shop and turns her into a little old lady. Fearing what her step mother will think when she sees her, Sophie sets off to find her fortune and ends up in Wicked Howl’s moving castle.
Sophie is cranky and funny and completely embraces being old.
This has to be one of Diana Wynne Jones best books. Every time I read it, I laugh and remember the first time I read it. Surprisingly it’s just as good each time. It would be hard to give a book a better review than that.