I do believe that teachers and school librarians are the great unsung heroes in our society. I’m trying to tell an important story to children, and without you and the booksellers and parents who encourage reading, my words would never reach that audience. In this visually dynamic age of television and computer interactivity, all I have to offer to children are black words on a white page. Books offer much, but they also demand much in return: the readers’ attention and imagination. You are the ones who guide and encourage your students to sit still and listen to the story I’m trying to tell. Simply put, without you, my books would not find such a wide and enthusiastic audience. Without you, children would not know the joys and adventures that lie between the covers of a book. For that and so much more, I thank you.
Since THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC was published I have received hundreds of letters from teachers and librarians like yourselves all over the country telling me how much you enjoy teaching this book in your classrooms and libraries and how happy you were when THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE was published. Many of you urged your students to write to me too and I have heard from reluctant readers, speedy readers, boys and girls, owner of dogs, cats, hamsters and iguanas, older sisters and younger brothers, Southerners, Westerners, artists and soccer players and musicians. The letters are often flattering, (“maybe you could come and live wih us”), sometimes begrudging (“I didn’t like your book much, but I finished it and it got better in the end”), usually honest (“my parents are divorced and I hate it”)* and always a pleasure for me to read.
You have also shared with me some of your varied and exciting ideas about teaching my CASTLE books in the classroom. Some of you have sent me photographs of the castles your students have built or the costumes they wore on Medieval Day or the skits they put on in their classrooms. It is both thrilling and humbling for a writer to learn in detail how her book has inspired such enthusiasm and creativity and energy.
Links for Teachers and Kids
Lesson plan suggestions for The Castle in the Attic
Build a Medieval Castle
Free educational project to make authentic medieval castle. Teaches about feudalism and life in the Middle Ages. Free Software!
Castles of Britain: School Projects
Easy to read pages filled with information about medieval life, castle history and construction, knights, medieval warfare and more.
Glossary of Castle Terms
An extensive listing of Castle terms and their meanings.
Resources for the study of medieval history.
Maps and Images
Public domain maps and images of medieval Europe