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The Girl Who Kept the Castle


Nevermoor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this captivating middle grade fantasy debut about a girl who must save the only home she’s ever known from destruction when a not-dead wizard’s competition to see who will inherit his title goes awry.

Wizard West was dead for nearly an entire day before he noticed.


And it is up to Faye, the daughter of West’s groundskeeper, to inform the wizard that he is a ghost who has lost all of his magical powers. (But not before the wizard tries transforming her into a cat!) To make matters worse, the enchanted castle of Celurdur—the only home that Faye has ever known—will fall apart at the next full moon if its foundation spells can’t be renewed.


After (sort of) accepting his demise, West decides to host a competition to choose his successor. Faye finds herself fighting to keep the tournament running smoothly behind the scenes: putting out kitchen fires, feeding the compost dragon and making sure competitors stay away from the cockatrice pen. 


But killer roosters soon become the least of her worries. A servant of the evil Shadow Queen has sabotaged the contest—set not just on destroying Celurdur, but the entire kingdom of Solum. It is up to Faye to stop him, but she’ll need more than a mop. Will a maid’s magic be enough to save everything she loves from utter destruction?

Coming Summer 2024 from Harper Children's

Advanced Praise

"Exquisitely charming and outrageously fun, CASTLE is the latest spellbinding story from the formidable imagination of Ryan Graudin. Magic and humor dance off the page and readers looking for a tale of heartwarming adventure and escape won't be able to put it down." ― Roshani Chokshi, New York Times Bestselling author of the Aru Shah series



"This addicting read is packed with charm, heart, and enchanting characters who will wrap their hands, paws, and claws around your heart and never let go. It is an essential magical read for every young witch and wizard!" ―Jessica Khoury, Bestselling Author of The Mystwick School of Musicraft and the Skyborn series.



"A whimsical adventure that instantly swept me away! Ryan Graudin has masterfully woven a tale that is incredibly enchanting from the eye-catching first line, all the way to the stunning ending!"―Julie Abe, author of the Eva Evergreen and Tessa Miyata series

"Ryan Graudin's THE GIRL WHO KEPT THE CASTLE has it all: an enchanted castle, a dead wizard, a vegetarian dragon, an ancient talking cat, and a big-hearted girl determined to save the place she loves. This heartwarming page-turner will thrill fans of fantasy fiction—and all readers!" ―Mary Alice Monroe & Angela May, New York Times Bestselling authors of The Islanders series

"Everything Ryan Graudin touches turns to magic. She's the most enchanting writer I know." ―Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling author of The Elementals and The World Between Blinks series



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