Leave a Message for Elizabeth


  1. Carol Comstock Bussell :

    The most memorable of the many of your books our girls have read is Sloppy Kisses. They grew up blowing noisy kisses through their bedroom door closed to just a crack of light. When your book “Sloppy Kisses” came along, an even more elaborate “goodnight” ritual evolved. It went like this:

    We parents would start the ritual in our final “goodnight voices” and blow noisy kisses their way, wave fingers in the crack in the door, and close the door with a proper ker-thunk. But we could hear the girls giggle as they sent back audible volleyed kisses from their beds through the closed door. So we played the obligation to be the last again. We reopened the door a crack to send a kiss, closed the door in a hurry, and added sounds of retreat down the hall. But of course, it wasn’t anyone’s last. The volleyed kisses and giggles flew back and forth about three times. All was settled when we conceded they were the last.

    My girls have grown and flown. Now, I volunteer as an after supper Storyteller to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. I tell your story, Sloppy Kisses, with credit to you. I sometimes add how our kids added their fun to the story. A storytime is about 5-8 minutes so we can visit all 12-18 children on the provided list before lights out. When I use your story, I still get giggles. They wave the same silly way back when I wave good-bye.

    I do hope you enjoyed our family story about Sloppy Kisses (really noisy kisses). But who needs to be too accurate? Your story was the inspiration and gets the credit!

    Carol Comstock Bussell
    Storytelling Arts of Indiana Volunteer

    • What a lovely story, Carol. Thank you for letting me know how much fun SLOPPY KISSES gave you and your family. We had the same kind of fun with our two kids when they were little…


  2. chris wondoloski :

    Just published my second murder mystery (THE TEXTILE MILL MURDERS) based upon 19th century North Adams, Massachusetts. Below, I pasted the book’s Afterword. Thought you might like to see it.

    A Little Help from a Friend

    No novel is created in a vacuum. In the end, its success or failure often depends upon how believable the fiction is. And since the best lies always contain elements of truth, you need to know real stuff to bolster your lies … lots and lots of real stuff. Does that make sense?

    The setting. The weather. The culture. The people. The dress. The language. The food. The tastes of the food. The smells and aromas around you. The sounds. In other words, you need go there, be there, live there. But more than that, you need to bring the reader with you.

    If you’re writing historical fiction, the farther back you go the harder this becomes to do. The sources you find become drier, more confusing, and less factual. Some may be so poorly written you need a translator to make sense of them. It took nearly four months of digging, reading, and dreaming to prepare writing “THE HOOSAC TUNNEL MURDERS. Even after I began spinning the tale I hit several “Oh, oh!” moments and needed to research more.

    I can’t say researching THE TEXTILE MILL MURDERS was any more exciting. However, in digging through this sand pile I got lucky and did excavate one gem.

    counting on grace (yes, the title is all lower case) is a novel written for middle school aged children or early high schoolers. However, Elizabeth Winthrop’s writing style will appeal to folks of any age. The story she tells had me lost in the mills of Pownal, Vermont at a time when time child labor laws may have been technically on the books but were rarely enforced.

    The stacks of photos, the glossaries of terms, the textile process descriptions, the antiseptic list of job descriptions and weekly pay I was struggling to bring to life had already been molded by Ms. Winthrop into a community of people who lived them every day. In my mind’s eye, the main characters weren’t just Grace and Arthur. They also included a ten year-old Polish immigrant kid named Chris Wondoloski, transported in time and place to live in their world, if only for a little while. And when at the end of the story that kid returned to his sixty-eight year old reality, he shed a tear and hoped he might come close to spinning as moving a tale.


    Follow Mr. Wondoloski’s author page on Facebook at: Chris H. Wondoloski, or contact him by email at: cwondoloski@gmail.com

  3. I have loved Castle In The Attic since I was a kid. In fact I think it is the book that I love the most because it was the first chapter book that I read. My mother and I read it when I was in first grade. I have fond memories of this book. Thank you so much for writing it!

  4. hi/ i’ve been watching yr uncle joe on you tube ,the interviews he gave robert merry and WGBH and he’s something to behold- his patrician accent , his old world manners , his deep knowldege of so many things, it’s a joy to watch. My problem is im 66 years old and i dont deal with twitter, or kindle or nook- i remember getting a busy signal when you called people on a dial phone!- & im wondering if yr memoir of dont knock unless yr bleeding is available in book form. thanx

    • Dear Bob Diamond, my memoir, DON’T KNOCK UNLESS YOU’RE BLEEDING is only available as an e-book, I’m sad to say. I hope that my memoir, DAUGHTER OF SPIES, Wartime Secrets, Family Lies will be available soon. It covers much of the same territory and expands the story from England in WW II to Washington during the Cold War.


  5. Lillianna Yates :

    Dear Elizabeth Winthrop,
    My name is Lillianna. I am a 3rd grader, and I read The Castle in the Attic at school. I liked it so much that I went to the book store with my parents and bought my own copy. I just started reading The Battle for the Castle at school and might even get my own copy of that, too! I have some questions about The Castle in the Attic. When Sir Simon thought he saw Moonlight, why didn’t William warn him that it was just an illusion, and that he should shut his eyes? Also, why wasn’t Dick (the apple tree man) turned to lead as well? Why did Tolliver just happen to be sitting on the fence when William passed by? I have one last question. Do you think you will ever add to this series? If you do, I will probably be one of the first people to buy it!
    Lillianna Yates

    • Dear Lillianna,

      Thanks for much for writing to me about how much you liked my novel, THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC.

      To answer your questions: William was a boy who believed that Sir Simon knew best. That’s why he didn’t warn him. It was only later when he realized that Sir Simon could be tricked by his own dreams and illusions that William began to trust his own judgement more than the knight’s.
      Dick escaped Alastor’s notice so he didn’t get turned to lead. And there’s no explanation for why Tolliver was sitting on that fence except that things happen in books and in life for a reason. Tolliver will figure importantly in THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE as you may have already discovered.

      I hope one day to write another story about Sir Simon and William. So happy to know you’ll be one of my first readers.

      Keep on reading!

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  6. Hello!
    I’m a published author working on a middle-grade trilogy. In Book Two (which is now my w.i.p.), I have been incorporating references to Castle in the Attic (directly, using the title). Not giving away any plot points, just dropping it in, hoping my readers will pick it up (after they finish mine, lol!).

    If you have questions or objections regarding this or would like to see the pages where I’ve included CITA, please feel free to contact me.

    S. Kay Murphy

  7. Hello,
    My students have a question from Castle in the Attic that I hope you can answer. When William and Sir Simon left the castle in the attic why did Sir Simon leave the token with Mrs. Phillips? Wouldn’t they need it to use on Alastor when they get to the him? I know that William grabs it from Alastor after doing the gymnastics routine but the students couldn’t understand why they didn’t have the old token.
    Thank you

    • Dear 4th Graders in Worcester,

      I congratulate you on your close reading skills. I believe most authors wish she/he could go back and change something years later when she re-reads her own book. Here’s what I would add at the moment Sir Simon leaves the token with Mrs. Phillips just before the he and William depart the castle. I would let the reader know that inside, William thinks to himself, Is that a good idea? Aren’t we going to need that token when we meet the wizard? But he doesn’t say anything and the moment passes.

      However, leaving the token with Mrs. Phillips is entirely in keeping with Sir Simon’s character. He believes that the strength of his sword and his noble intentions will be the only weapons he needs to defeat the wizard… and as a classic knight of the Middle Ages, he thinks first of the protection of the lady he must leave behind. Mrs. Phillips is alone in the castle, she has nobody to protect her or bring her food or rescue her, especially if he and William never return. So it’s exactly what Sir Simon would do… leave her the one weapon in his possession that he thinks might keep her safe. Remember the rules for a knight that he recites to William. One of them is “Be ever loyal in love.” Sir Simon is a little bit in love with Mrs. Phillips so of course, he would think of her safety before his own.

      All best wishes,


  8. Good Morning,

    I teach in an inner city school in Worcester, MA and we use the Reading Side by Side program so our fourth graders are working on Castle in the Attic. I did the book last year and this year as well. One think I wanted to mention was that something happened last year and the same thing this year and it refers to the part in the text with the apple tree man. When the man tells William how to defeat the dragon it becomes difficult because of the man’s name. It leads to lots of snickering and laughter among the boys. We all (other 4 th grade teachers in my school) had to explain it is the nickname for the real name Richard etc. but my main reason for writing was just to let you know incase you never heard that this name is a problem and please consider that in the future when you are creating characters/names.

    • Dear Sandra,

      Oh dear, this does make me sad.

      In 1985, when I first wrote the book, I expect this wouldn’t have happened and I’ve never heard this concern from any other teachers. However, I can certainly understand the reaction from this new generation of tech-savvy 9 and 10 year olds where everything can become over-sexualized. Most of all, I do appreciate your letting me know and will keep this in mind for future books in the series. Mrs. Phillips’ younger brother who sent the castle is Richard and I may feature him in a prequel, but I will keep your suggestion in mind and make sure he doesn’t get this nickname.

      In the sequel, THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE, Dick features quite prominently which might actually help the boys relate to him as a character and not as a joke to snicker about.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  9. Angela Cavallo :

    Dear Elizabeth,
    My name is Angela Cavallo – I believe you are related to my mom, Cecily Fowler Grand. My son Sammy is in 4th grade at Dedham Country Day in Dedham Ma. He recently finished “The Castle in the Attic” in his 4th grade reading group and absolutely loved your book – as did the entire class! I remember reading your books as a child and am so happy Sammy loves your stories as much as I do.
    We would like to meet you if you ever find yourself in the Boston area!
    Thank you again for the great reads!
    Your fans,
    Angela Grand Cavallo and Sammy Cavallo

    • Hi, Angela.

      I remember you when you were a toddler! I’m not related to your mother, but I certainly spent lots of time with her in the summers by the beach. Your grandfather and my father served in a British battalion called the Kings Royal Rifle Corps together during World War II. I have some amazing pictures of them together from those days so write me at elizabeth@elizabethwinthrop.com if you or your mother would like digital copies.

      I’m so glad that Sammy liked THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. There is a sequel called THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE… my twin granddaughters are also in the 4th Grade and we listened to the book together on a long car ride so I think Sammy might also enjoy it.

      And thank you for taking the time to write to me. I’m in the middle of a new project, and it does a writer so much good to know there are readers out there enjoying her stories.

      All best to you and Sammy,


  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    My name is Gracie. I am a second grade homeschool student. I live in Sooke BC, which is a far southwest you can go in Canada. I have just read your book “Counting On Grace” for my book club. We are meeting next week and I would like to tell my friends about you. I am wondering do you have any pets? What are your hobbies, besides writing? And why did you decide to be a writer? Counting On Grace is my favorite book in the whole world. Thank you for writing it.


    • Hi, Gracie.
      Thank you for writing to tell me how much you liked COUNTING ON GRACE. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but I hope you can tell your book club friends that I did respond and here are the answers to your questions. I don’t have any pets right now, but my son has a little dog named Quinn that comes to visit often. I love to knit, travel, cook, do yoga, walk in the city, go to the theater, read books, swim laps and take photographs. I decided to become a writer because I loved to tell stories and I wanted to tell them to as many people as I could reach. Besides, I loved to read so writing felt like an honorable profession to me.

      Say hi to your friends from me,


  11. Dear Elizabeth,
    I run a very small, alternative high school for pregnant and parenting youth in Bennington, Vermont. This fall we will be studying the notion of community—the smaller community of family embedded in the larger community of Bennington. We’ll be doing all sorts of projects, but the center is your book Counting on Grace. I know it is a big ask, but if you could somehow find the time to come and talk with us, it would mean a great deal. These are kids who have always had the least; I would like the opportunity to offer them the best.
    Kindest Regards,
    Laura S. Mack
    , Opportunities at Sunrise

    • Dear Laura Mack,

      I’m so glad to hear that you will be using COUNTING ON GRACE is the center of your projects at school this year. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to come visit you in Bennington, however, we could discuss doing a Skype session with your students once they have read the book. Skype sessions work really well as the student can see where I live and work, and often spontaneous questions come up when they look at my desk or my bookshelf or my family photos. And I have lots of information on Addie Card, the little girl who is featured in the cover photo, that I think would be of particular interest to your students. Feel free to email me at elizabeth@elizabethwinthrop.com to discuss this possibility.



  12. Maria E. Galbis Zas :

    I was sitting at my computer working and your name popped into my head. We went to middle school at Stoneridge Sacred Heart in Wash. D.C. early 60’s. I moved to California in 1963 and studied architecture at USC, still practicing (I live on a farm in North Georgia now). I read some of your bio and I am so impressed your are a prolific writer! I did get to see Mary McCarthy when she went to campaign for her Dad back in 1968. Other than that have lost touch with everyone. Unbelievably my sister-in -law was very active with Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau in Louisiana. I went to visit there with her and upstairs in the retired religious ward I got to see Mother Mouton one last time in the mid 1980’s. I have fond memories of Stoneridge and having you, Mary and Candy as friends. Hope all is well with you and wish you continued success!

  13. Steve Hillis :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    In 1970, I completed my medical internship, and the U.S. Air Force sent me and my young family to a small base on the island of Crete for two years. For lack of leisure time during my internship, I was not well acquainted with your father. My schedule on Crete was more relaxed, and for two years I looked forward to every edition of Newsweek. He became what Bill Moyers calls an “intimate stranger.” After two years, I returned to a busy medical residency to specialize, and my friend and I grew apart, and then he died. After the “sort of memoir” was published, he and I were reacquainted albeit too late for me to write to him.
    Last week, I found his book on my shelf, and voila, we visited yet again, and I am realizing how much his visits meant to me when I was on Crete. I was a bit reluctant to use space that normally praises your work, but I felt the need to write to someone who knew him and loved him.

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you so much for this long and thoughtful note remembering my father, the journalist, Stewart Alsop. I love the image of you waiting for your Newsweek issues on the island of Crete and your experience of him as an “intimate stranger.” Ironically, here in New York, I ran into Bill Moyers at a restaurant last year. He told me he was cleaning out his office, but couldn’t bear to throw away some notes he’d received from Daddy. I assume you’ve read the short Kindle memoir I did of him and Uncle Joe… my two fathers.
      Thanks for taking the time to write.

  14. David Tremain :

    Hello Elizabeth, You sound like you might be related to Hans Mark John Barnard Hankey (1905-99). I came across his name while researching for a book I’m writing on Stella Lonsdale. From what I can find so far, he was a Temporary Lieutenant in the RNVR, but also worked for SOE in France. His name was mentioned by Stella when she was being interrogated by Cyril Mills of MI5, who had known him before the war. However, Stella never mentioned how she knew him. Any information about him you could pass on would be gratefully received and acknowledged in my book. Best wishes, David

    • Hello, David Tremain.

      Thanks for your note on my website.
      I believe that Hans Mark who died at the age of 94 was a first cousin once removed of my grandfather’s, Arthur Barnard Hankey. Arthur and Hans Mark’s father, George F. B. Hankey (b. 1973) were half brothers.

      Stella Lonsdale sounds like a fascinating character for a biography, but unfortunately I never met most of the Hankeys as my mother, Patricia, an 18-year-old decoding agent for MI5 during the war, married my American father in 1944 and moved to Washington. It is only recently while doing research for a memoir I’m writing, that I’ve begun to meet some of my Hankey relatives.

      From a brief glance at Google, it appears that Mills of MI5 interrogated Lonsdale in a room at the Ritz. My parents had the honeymoon suite in the Ritz the week of June 20,1944. After that, my father returned to training in Peterborough as a parachutist and in early August, jumped into France as the captain of an OSS/Jedburgh team.

      In any case, I wish you good luck with your research and I look forward to reading the book.


  15. Kim Johnson :

    Dear Elizabeth
    The letters were sent in 1946.
    Thank you

  16. Kim Johnson :

    Dear Elizabeth
    I have found your website during a search for Cecilia Hankey, wife of Arthur Barnard Hankey, of 60 Pont Street, London.
    Cecilia features in our family story: I have copies of some letters she wrote from Pont Street to the Gordon Boys’ School in Surrey, to help facilitate my father and his brother’s applications to attend the school from their home in Gibraltar.
    I would like very much to know something about Cecilia, and wonder how she may have known the family.
    I would be grateful for information that may help me understand more about this.
    Thank you and best wishes

  17. Hi Elizabeth, I love your works The Castle In The Attic and The Battle For The Castle so I decided to make a sequel novel called The Chaos In The Castle. A PDF will be sent to you upon it’s completion. Here is the storyline:

    Mrs. Philips returns and 15 year old William does not let her join the adventure. However, Mrs.Phillips decides she will provide money and rations for the adventure. William befriends Simone, a girl much like himself, who is threatened by bullies. Alastor’s older brother,[Arogonus,Master of weather], terrorizes the land. It is up to William,Toliver, and Simone as a trio to stop him after the Silver Knight falls to Aragonus’s hypnotism. Along the way they will meet new friends,make important decisions,and ultimately give Simone the power she needs to fight the gang of bullies. Will William win the battle against Aragonus or stay miniature forever?

  18. Cynnie Greenleaf :


    I am trying to find your short story about tying flies. Over New Year’s while talking to our friends’ grandson, I learned he is enthusiastic about fishing and tying flies.

    Cynnie Greenleaf

  19. Patricia Mack :

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Loved your Ted Talk. I learned more about you and cherish our friendship even more.

  20. Alissa Piwowarski :

    Good afternoon. Did Pepe commit suicide or was it an accident ?
    Thank you !

    • Alissa, this is one of those moments where I ask my readers what they think. Characters have a life of their own, I’ve found. Pepe was an old man who thought he really was ready to go home to Canada. Did he imagine he could get on that moving train and simply misjudged the speed or the step? Or did he let himself fall in front of the train to end his misery? Would he have chosen to leave Grace that way? Nobody was there to witness that moment. What do you think?


  21. Kasey Davidson :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    I first discovered your writing as a third grade student in the 1990’s. My teacher had us all buy a copy of your book, “The Castle in the Attic”, and we read along with her. Since then, I have become a teacher. I teach 2nd Grade and I read my students the book. They loved every moment of your writing. It was amazing to see them light up as they listened to the story. My students were transported to a new world filled with imagination and wonder. Some of my students started to say things like, “I want to be a writer” and “Don’t listen to Alastor! He is evil!” My favorite moments though are when I stopped reading. They all would say, “No please keep reading, we want to know what happens next!” Your writing style impacted me as a child, and I am happy to have the opportunity to read your stories to the next generation of children. After finishing the book my students requested I buy the sequel. We are now reading “The Battle for the Castle”. I just wanted to write to you and let you know how grateful I am to you for impacting my life and all my present/future students.

    Thank you,
    Kasey Davidson
    2nd Grade Teacher
    Morgantown Learning Academy, West Virginia

    • Dear Kasey Davidson,

      I cannot tell you how much this message means to me. I heard from my agent today that a book I’ve been working on for years needs another revision which is very tough news for a writer. Your message lifted my spirits. Thank you for taking the time to tell me and thank you for turning your students into lifelong readers. Without teachers like you, writers like us would never find our audience.


  22. Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    I’m sorry if this is double dipping, but I had just send this very message to you via Facebook, then shortly after that I noticed that you do provide responses here as well. Below I copied the same message.
    I’ve been looking for a specific book for some time. In my search someone pointed me towards you. while using the forums within Goodreads.com for the past year or so, this has been the closest I’ve gotten.

    I remembered a book that I used to read when I was a kid, and it was one of my favorite books. Now that I’m a little bit older and have a child of my own, I’ve made it my mission to track down my favorite childhood books that influenced me in my life. A book about blocks and sharing was all the details I could remember, and as i search more details seemed to fit the gaps in my memory. Some details were incorrect in my search and other are difficult to describe with just simple text.

    You wrote a book titled, “That’s Mine” and I believe that this is the book I have been searching for. only, I’ve run into a small problem. No one has a picture of the cover or any of the art work in the book so that I can compare it with my memory. For this reason, I’ve come to you on Facebook to see if you have an images of the book and if you know where I can get a good copy (in hopes that this is the book I’m looking for)?

    Thank you in advance for your help. Also here is a link to my post on Goodreads.

    • Kevin, you are right. I believe the book of mine that you’re referring to is THAT’S MINE which was published 40 years ago. What a lift it is to any writer’s heart to know that you still remember it from your childhood. I’ve sent you an email directly with a photo of the book cover which I hope will help you find a copy for your own children.

      Thank you for being so persistent.



  23. Catherine Aldrich :

    Hi Ms. Winthrop,
    I am currently teaching a 4th grade class at Grant Elementary in Lakewood, Ohio. We finished reading “A Castle in the Attic”. The class loved it! The had a few questions, particularly surrounding the timeline when William was on his quest. They suggested we email you.
    1. Did time stop for everyone once William shrunk?
    2. Why did time/how did time stop for Willia, but keep going for Mrs. Phillips at the same time?
    3. Did William’s parents know he was gone? or did time stop?
    4. Was Mrs. Phillips family worried? If so, what did her family do?

    Thank you for your time.
    Mrs. Lewis’ Star Block Reading Group
    Grant Elementary, Lakewood, Ohio
    Cathy Aldrich (long term sub for Mrs. Lewis)

    • I’ve been asked this question before and here’s the best answer I can give.

      What I meant when I wrote it was that Mrs. Phillips doesn’t get to live through those days when time has stopped in her world… because she was shrunk against her will she loses those days down in the real world whereas William comes back at exactly the same moment that he left. He doesn’t lose time, his parents don’t even know he’s gone.

      In the second book, THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE, William tells Jason ” Sometimes with magic you don’t try to figure things out it doesn’t get you anywhere.”? Well I think that’s the case with this question.

      Thank you all for being such smart readers,


  24. Annabel and Katherine BMMS :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    Thank you for taking the time to read this email. We are two seventh graders from Maryland doing a project on Lewis Hine. As you may know, many schools participate in a competition called National History Day. The theme this year is “Taking a Stand in History.” Our project is called “Lewis Hine: Exposing Child Labor through Photography.” We have won our school’s competition and are moving on to a county-wide competition. Through research, we have decided that, through your work on your book, “Counting on Grace,” you are a person we would like to interview as part of our project. If you are available for an interview, please contact us with your preferred form of interview. We would be available for an email, phone, Skype, FaceTime, or in person interview if you are available. Thank you for being part of our project!

    Sincerely, Katherine and Annabel

  25. I have recently read The Castle in the Attic to my son Jason (9) and daughter Katie (7) and they loved it. We are looking forward to reading The Battle for the Castle. I have been a 5th grade teacher for the past 18 years and have seen many students catch the reading bug after reading this book. Thanks for such a great adventure that sparks that interest for children.
    My daughter is so taken with the book that she has asked me for some homework questions to go with the book. She also asked if there was a movie for The Castle in the Attic. With many fantasy classics, such as The Chronicles of Narnia, being done as movies I was very surprised to see that I could find no adaptation of this book into a movie. Has it ever been made into a video format of any kind?

    Thank you again for the addition you have brought to my students’ and my own children’s lives.

    Eric Smith

    • Dear Eric Smith,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write me this note. It does an author such good to know that a book has given kids the “reading bug”. As you know, there’s no better company than a book. The rights for a movie have been optioned three times, but nothing came of it. I’d be happy to know there’s a movie in the book’s future, but there are no plans in the works now.
      Thank YOU for all you do as a teacher to inspire in your students a love of reading. I couldn’t do my job without you.


  26. Hello Elizabeth,

    I am a teacher/librarian in Washington state. My 4th grade students are writing letters to their favorite authors and you are one! We are using this activity to teach word processing and friendly letter form. Is there an address or PO Box we can send these to? They would love to hear back, even if it’s a form letter.
    Thank you,

  27. Hi there! I was wondering if there is a movie of this book for my students to do a compare/contrast of. The kids are enjoying it! We are almost done with it.

    • Lori, thanks for asking. There have been options, but never a movie. Maybe your kids could write to Hollywood producers and suggest it.

      I’m kidding… sort of…

      So glad you are enjoying the book.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  28. My son and I just finished your Battle for the Castle and were in love with the whole book. I remember reading this when I was young and was so happy to share it with him. He is hoping for a third book. And told me that there is a possibility because you end it with “In case”. I told him I’d ask for him. Thank you,
    Nicole and Nathan

    • Nicole, please tell Nathan that I “never say never.” And William draws me back … he has lived in my imagination longer than most of my other characters.

      Thank you for taking the time to write.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

      • Oh thank you. I first read it back in 1990, and reading it again with my son brought back everything. I found myself closing my eyes when he was reading and remembering what I felt when I had to read it in school.


    (Your email bounced back so I’m putting my answer up here on my website.)

    To answer your questions.

    1) I don’t answer queries about the content of my novel as I assume you’ve read it and can answer them yourself.

    2) People in the 19th Century often considered their own children as workers. Children were expected to bring in wages to help the family survive, especially immigrant families. So often, the very families that the child labor laws were passed to help and support rejected them. Look at the character, Mamére in COUNTING ON GRACE. She herself got away from working on a farm and wanted her daughter to work for wages. She saw that as a step up from the poverty she’d endured. Feel free to find other examples in the book, yourself.

    3) I was inspired to write the book when I saw the Lewis Hine photo of Addie Card in a Vermont museum. Since Hine only photographed children during that era and since he was focused on child labor, it was natural to write a novel with a child at the center of the story. It allowed me to recreate the 1910 scene in the North Pownal mill when he walked in to photograph the under-age mill workers. Again, feel free to find other examples in the novel of times when I wove real facts into the fiction…in the mill and in the school and in the town.

    You might also want to contact Joe Manning at the Lewis Hine Project. Joe helped me find Addie Card’s descendants and has spent the last 9 years identifying the descendants of other Hine subjects.

    Good luck,

    Elizabeth Winthrop

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    My name is Alycia Brodie and I am conducting research for my National History Day project. I have chosen to investigate Child Labor Laws and how Lewis Hine stood up for them. Since you are an expert in this area, I would love to ask you a few questions regarding your research on child labor and Lewis Hine. If you would be willing, I would be forever grateful.

    My questions are:

    1) In Counting on Grace, what were the struggles you highlighted for a child living in the 1910s?

    2) What was the controversy that came with child labor laws? Why did people feel this way? How did you show this divide in your novel?

    3) Why did you choose to portray the main character as a child? How did you incorporate nonfiction into your novel by using this choice of age?

    Thank you for your help and time,
    Alycia Brodie

  30. Alycia Brodie :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    My name is Alycia and I am conducting research for my National History Day project. I have chosen to investigate Child Labor Laws in the 1900s and how Lewis Hine took a stand for the laws. Since you are an expert in this area, I would love to ask you a few questions regarding your research on Child Labor Laws in America and Lewis Hine. If you would be willing, I would be forever grateful.

    My questions are:
    1) In Counting on Grace, what were the struggles you highlighted for a child living in the 1910s?

    2) What was the controversy that came with child labor laws? Why did people feel this way? How did you show this divide in your book?

    3) Why did you choose to portray the main character as a child? How did you incorporate nonfiction into your novel by using this choice of age?

    4) What aspects of Lewis Hine did you include in your book?

    Thank you for your help and time,

    Alycia Brodie

  31. Dear Elizabeth,
    I am a 5th grade teachers in North Adams and was raised by parents of the Sprague Electric mill. You were kind enough to share Letters …with my class. Many of my chums grew up in the “Little Italy” part of town, We will be reading later this Fall and want so much for my students to write you letters making connections with this novel. Might this be okay! By the way Castle in the Attic is my daughter’s favorite…when she was little we built a refrigerator box castle. I will be ordering a half a dozen more for my next years class which is much larger. Best to you!!!!

    • Dear Sue Oliveri,

      I’m eager to hear what your students think of DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, Letters from a Milltown Girl since they are living in the town in which it is set. As I’m sure you know, Joe Manning has done a great deal of research on Lewis Hine and the kids whose photographs he took so your fifth graders might enjoy reading his website.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  32. Karoline Huenergardt :

    Ms Winthrop,
    I randomly picked up your book, In My Mother’s House, at my local library.
    It is one of the best books I have read this year. I read four to six books every three to six weeks depending on my work.
    I have never wrote to an author but enjoyed the multi-generational and historical feeling of this books I much That I just had to let you know.
    As someone who has her own story to tell one day, I found your book inspirational.

    With Much Thanks for a Great Read,

    Karoline Huenergardt

  33. Leanne Montgomery :

    I am a fourth grade teacher in Fort. St. John, BC, Canada. Some of my students read both The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle. They wrote letters to you as their final assignment. Could I have your mailing address so I can send them to you. Thank you.

  34. Rita Vasquez :

    Dear Ms.Winthrop,
    Hi, my name is Amanda Right and I loved one of your books which is Castle in the Attic. I loved how in the last chapter , you put two of the tokens. One thing I enjoyed is that Sir Simon was very tiny which made the story more enjoyable. I wonder if Willam ever thought that Sir Simon would never get big again. I also wonder if Alastor ever wanted to rule the kingdom again. We read the old version of Castle in the Attic.
    Best Wishes,
    Amanda Right

    • Dear Rita Vazquez,

      Thank you for having your 5th Grade students write to me about THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. I’ve now posted all their comments. I was happy to hear from them, whether they liked the book or not. And I was interested to know which parts of the story engaged them.

      Thank you for bringing my book to these readers. Without teachers like yourself, authors like myself would have a much harder time finding the audience for our words.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  35. Rita Vazquez :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    Hello my name is Amy and I am a 5 grader and I love your book the Castle in the Attic.
    I was wondering about Why were Williams parents not worried about him like were he left the house for a long time,and the time he came back . I really liked the part were William was entering the castle because it was really interesting and I also like the part were the wizard was gone and defeated. I did not like the part were Ms. Phillips had to leave to go to England .

  36. Rita Vazquez :

    Dear Mrs.Winthrop,
    Hello my name is Natalie Rose, and I didn’t like your book The Castle In The Attic very much. Now I don’t dislike this book because its an old book, or because I never had heard of you, the author, but I dislike this book because I’m not that interested in adventures or fantasy. I can’t say that the series is bad, or that your not a good author because I did not read the rest of the series or one of your other books, but I must admit that your book Island Justice looks like a good book, but I didn’t like the Castle In The Attic at all.
    Natalie Rose

  37. Rita Vazquez :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    Hi I’m a 5th at grader Steven’s Forest Elementary School. I’ve read your fameus book called The Castle in the Attic. I’ve read It twice now!! I can’t wait to read The Battle for the Castle. In The Castle in the Attic I like the part when William fights the dragon, in front of the castle’s gates. I also like the the final showdown between William and Alstor the evil wizard. The book really shows the magical side of the medevil times. I found out that the medevil times was very religious and that dragons never fought knights in shining armor. But nights were real and they fought and protect their kingdoms. A life time for a person was short, It’s only 30-50 years of lifetime sad times indeed. But life was still great as king and queens and living under their rule. Thank you for showing me the magical side of the medevil times.
    5th grader.P.S keep up the good work.

  38. Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    My name is Catherine Savoy I am a 5th grader at Stevens Forest Elementary School I just recently read your book Castle in the Attic I thought it was fantastic! My favorite part was when Sir Simon and William were walking in the forest. I liked this part because I thought it was very descriptive and it made it seem like the reader was in the story so it was very easy to picture what was happening.
    Sincerely your fan,
    P.S. I love your books please keep writing these fabulous stories!

  39. Dear Ms.Winthrop,
    I really like Castle In The Attic it was very interesting. I liked the part when William turned Ms.Phillips tiny because she was confused. Also I liked the very beginning when William found the silver knight because he was so shocked.
    John Muniesh

  40. Googling the book Sub Rosa, a book given to me long ago by my Dad, I saw your name and mention that you were the daughter of one of the authors and the God-daughter of the other. My Dad served in the OSS in Italy with Lt. Tom Braden. Tom was in his wedding party in Newton, MA in 1946. Are you a Braden, or Alsop? I’d love to connect with Braden children. I have some really neat OSS documents and photos. I have just finished scanning nearly 700 documents and photos so they become preserved, as opposed to lost forever in old boxes… I’d love it if you could direct me to the Braden kids, if any have an interest in their Dad’s OSS WWII years. We buried my Mom’s ashes in Arlington beside my Dad this past December. Before it’s too late, I want to pass on the breathtakingly courageous histories of our fathers to descendants, scholars and historians who care. Thanks! Mark Rovzar – West Barnstable, MA

    • Mark, as I wrote you directly, I’m Alsop’s daughter and Braden’s goddaughter. So glad we can be in touch directly about our fathers’ histories in World War II.



  41. I was thinking back on my childhood today because I was asked by a friend to list ten favorite and impactful novels. I’m 22 now with a bachelor’s degree and I have read many books, but during my reflections I specifically remembered one novel I read in fifth grade.

    That was eleven, almost twelve, years ago now, so it’s hard to remember specifics–and to be frank, I’m not even sure if what I recall of the plot is correct. I remember a knight; I remember a boy; I remember a castle in an attic.

    What I cannot forget, though, is the library sticker on the spine of the hardcover book. I can vividly see the lined Post-It note on the first beige page, littered with stamps of dates and the names of those who embarked on this adventure before me. I could never forget the fever–the need to chase down the heroes of the tale, as if they would continue it without me.

    I recall returning the book and meandering back to class in a haze, caught in a limbo between that world and reality. I remember staring at the whiteboard as my teacher lectured, watching the lines of the dry-erase words reform themselves into the characters I had grown to know and love; I was weightless as the hero’s journey played out again before me. I will also never forget suddenly being called on and having absolutely no idea what was happening. My face was on fire; Mr. Levi warned me if it happened again he’d make me turn a card.

    I added ‘Castle in the Attic’ to the list for that reason: Even if it’s hard to remember the plot, I will never forget how much I fell in love with that book. Falling in love with reading is more important than any one novel. Thank you for helping me with that.


    • Colleen, what a lovely and thoughtful memory of reading CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. I can’t tell you how much it means to an author to hear from a thoughtful reader like yourself who remembers the book so fondly. It’s astounding how powerful a reading experience can be… I’m so honored to have helped you fall in love with those black lines on a white page.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  42. Hi Elizabeth,
    I feel silly writing to you because you have written so many amazing books and I am still unpublished. But because you wrote Counting on Grace I want to connect with you. I have written a Biography Picture Book about Lewis’ life and after 10 years (I know obsessed) I feel like I know him as you probably do as well. Just wanted to say Hi and maybe some day we can talk further about that time period and what a wonderful thing Lewis did. Hopefully soon to be published, Tootie

  43. Peter Pearson :

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I’ve waited 25 years to send this message. I was a huge fan of your work as a kid; I read THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC over and over and over. And guess what? Now I write for kids, too—my first picture book (HOW TO EAT AN AIRPLANE) is coming out from Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. I wanted to thank you for being part of my early reading experience. Books ripple outward through people’s lives. They matter. And sometimes, they inspire others to make stories of their own (like me). So thank you for devoting yourself to young people in this special way. I’m honored to be taking up the craft alongside you.

    your fan and friend,


    • Peter, thank you for taking the time to write to me. To receive a note like this from a fellow toiler in the field makes it especially meaningful. Congratulations on your own first picture book which I can’t wait to read. My first was also under the HarperCollins (then Harper and Row) umbrella. It’s a great place to start what I expect will be a long and rewarding career.

      Your friend and fellow writer,

  44. Mary Jo Valko :

    I am trying to find the rightsholder to STAY OF EXECUTION by Stewart Alsop. Please contact me if you control those book rights. Thank you! Mary Jo Valko 610-970-9741 email: mjaz@ptd.net

  45. Nicholas Barela :

    Dear Elizabeth,

    One of my favorite things to do is collect and read old books. That being said one of my favorites is castle in the attic. My mother read it to me when I was a boy and it’s just a memory that I will never forget. Thanks for the memories .

    • Nicholas, thanks for taking the time to let me know that CASTLE IN THE ATTIC meant so much to you as a young reader. It gives an author such a boost to hear from fans like you who have taken one of our books to heart.


  46. Carilyn Philbrook :


    We had a wonderful day together in August 2008 at the Jordanville Library 100th anniversary and other times together in Jordanville, New York. Just wanted to remind you that President Theodore Roosevelt for the day was Paul Stillman. He did a great job!! He continues on with his excellent work even today!!! Carilyn “Cari” Philbrook

    • Cari, I remember that day very well and with great affection. I was honored to be chosen as a direct descendant of TR to speak at the 100th Anniversary of the Jordanville library. Long may it prosper. And thank you for reminding me about Paul Stillman’s interpretation of TR. I felt as if I were standing next to my ancestor!


  47. Nancy L. Wood :

    As a writer myself (mostly documentaries), I would be remiss if I did not tell you how much I enjoy your books — especially those for children. I just ordered an advanced copy of Lucy and Henry are Twins as a first book gift for a teacher who is expecting twins — a boy and a girl!

    Though I have not yet read Counting on Grace, being a born and bred Vermonter (our family has be traced all the way back to the first colonists), who is also left-handed, I can’t wait to get it in my hands — both of them.

    Continue with your wonderful work. So many appreciate your commitment to excellence!

    Nancy L. Wood
    Elementary Reading Remediation

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. I can’t tell you (or you probably already know) how cheering it is to hear positive feedback from readers, especially if one is having a rough writing day. Vermont is one of my favorite places in the world especially because the state so took me and GRACE into their hearts.

  48. Molly McGalliard :

    Hello Elizabeth – I am in the middle, actually the exciting end, of Castle in the Attic with a group of my 4th grade boys. They absolutely love the book. One student in fact has already finished the book before our final book discussion group next week. I am wondering if I have him write you a letter, where would the best place be to send this letter? I think he will have lots of great questions for you and reflections about the book. Thank you for your time,

    Molly McGalliard
    4th Grade Teacher
    Edwards, Colorado

    • Dear Molly McGalliard,

      Best place to send the student’s letter is

      Elizabeth Winthrop
      ℅ Holiday House
      425 Madison Avenue
      New York, NY 10017

      I look forward to reading his questions and reflections.

      And thanks to you for all the work you do to bring my book to your class.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  49. Hi Elizabeth-my name is David Spudy. I teach third grade at Sunrise Estates Elementary School. We are part of the Penn-Trafford School District. Our entire third grade (56 students) read your novel “The Castle In The Attic”. My two colleagues and I developed a 5 week novel study about the book. The study was a fantastic success! A few of our students wish to write you a letter as a final project for our novel study. We will be sending you the letters within the next few weeks, and I wanted to make sure this is the correct address:

    Elizabeth Winthrop
    ℅ Holiday House
    425 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10017

    Thank you for your time-the kids are very excited to mail you their letters.

    David Spudy

    • Dear David Spudy,

      Yes, that is the correct address. I very much look forward to reading their letters. And might you send a copy of your novel study at the same time? I’d love to read it.



  50. Nathaniel Means :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop:

    I am so pleased that I looked back at your website, as I have just learnt about Gregg Herken’s book “The Georgetown Set.” You posted on your website that you had been watching the Ken Burns series on your family. I have always been struck by how much descendants of President Theodore Roosevelt like Theodore Roosevelt III and Alice Roosevelt Longworth disliked Franklin Roosevelt, given that that Progressive Party platform of 1912 featured support for so many things incorporated in the New Deal like banning child labor, unemployment insurance, old-age pension, regulations on wages and hours, etc. I have never seen how people who advocated strongly Theodore Roosevelt’s re-election in 1912 on the Progressive Party platform could have come out so vigorously against the New Deal initiatives of their cousin. Franklin Roosevelt once commented upon voting for the Republican candidate in 1904 that he was a better Democrat than the Democrat. Perhaps other writers have grappled with this conundrum. That is one question that I would have loved to have raised with your father and uncle. Obviously, you are very busy and haven’t time for a lengthy reply, but perhaps my question is one that would be appropriate for a larger study of your family. I submitted a review of your book on your father and your uncle on Amazon–I hope I did justice to your work—but most importantly, I hope you will continue to write about your family. You can scarcely imagine how fascinating I find it all to be.

    • Dear Nathaniel,

      I’ve always heard that the descendants of TR were simply jealous of FDR. It was personal. There was only one Roosevelt who could be president. Who was this upstart? Actually, they all knew Franklin very well because as teenagers, they often met at Oyster Bay, but Alice particularly never thought of her fifth cousin as having much “gravitas.” And to be honest, as the Burns show reveals, the polio deepened him considerably. I think the best book on this is by Linda Donn called THE ROOSEVELT COUSINS, Growing Up Together.

      Since you do seem interested in the Alsop brothers, you might also look at Gregg Herken’s new book, THE GEORGETOWN SET.



  51. Natasha Moore :

    Good Evening,

    Your posts chronically your mother’s background and journey to the US after the war was a fantastic read. And I’m so excited to see a post about the Roosevelts. I think the Corinne Roosevelt branch is one of the most interesting. The Robinsons don’t seem to get a lot of attention. I even emailed the FDR library after one of the broadcasts and they said they didn’t have much available (they didn’t specify whether it was because the documents are scarce or because they just haven’t been cleared for publication).

    Either way, this is marvelous.

    Best Wishes,

    Natasha Moore

    • Dear Natasha Moore,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts. You might be interested to know that the papers from the Corinne Roosevelt branch of the family are gathered at the TR Collection at Harvard’s Houghton Library. I believe they are planning to make them available digitally.



  52. Hello Ms. Winthrop,
    I have read that you have written a book titled “The Children of Spies”. I can’t seem to locate it anywhere. Any suggestions?
    Cheers, Mathew

  53. Hi Elizabeth,

    I loved Katharine’s Doll growing up, in fact I still have my copy! It seems to be different from any of the copies I have seen online, and I was just curious as to how my mother may have come across it when I was younger. It is paperback, stapled, and printed in b&w. I treasure it, but thought to ask if you had any info on it. 🙂



    • Hi, Holly.

      I would love to know where that copy of KATHARINE’S DOLL might have come from. Was your mother a teacher? Might she have been sold a Xeroxed copy of the book?
      So nice to know that a book I wrote so long ago still resonates with you.
      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to answer. We’ve had problems with the website guestbook.


  54. Don Blauvelt :

    Hello Elizabeth,

    August DeFrance at Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown, CT referred me to you.

    Dea, Joseph Wright and his 1st wife Mary Stoddard of Wethersfield, Conn. are my ancestors, the grandparents of Joseph Wright, 3rd, husband of Hannah Gilbert, latter the parents of Mary Wright, wife of Richard Alsop of Middletown, CT.

    I understand that you are writing an Alsop family history and would very much appreciate if you would be willing to share with me some of that history. For the last 15+ years I have been detailing my immigrant maternal New England ancestry, which in part starts in 1620 at Plymouth, Mass.

    But to the point I am very active of the Find-a-Grave.com system and several gravestone memorials have been transferred to me (i.e., Joseph and Hannah Gilbert Wright and Richard and Mary Wright Alsop). Richard and Mary’s dau. Abigail was the wife of Theodore Dwight, the grandson of my ancestorial cousin, Rev. Jonathan Edwards (grandson of my ancestors) and Sarah Pierpont, and several other marriages or near marriages that evolved from the Richard and Mary (Wright) Alsop family are downstream lineal descendants of my ancestors.

    Since the purpose of any genealogical research is to “get it right,” I do not throw published data to the wall and hope it sticks, rather do my homework.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Don Blauvelt
    South Florida

  55. Brittany Brown :

    Hello! I have a group of third grade girls who have read The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle and have thoroughly enjoyed both! We are in book group now and evaluating your books. We are wondering, are you planning on writing a third book in the series? We would love to see what happened to Alastor since he was missing from the second book. Thank you!
    Mrs. Brittany Brown, 3rd grade York Township Elementary in York, PA

    • Dear Brittany Brown,

      I never say never to a third book… that Alastor is in the bottom of the ocean so it would take a lot to bring him back… however, it’s been suggested by other fans!

      Thanks for letting me know how much you and your third graders enjoyed the book.

  56. Irene Englezos :


    I am a grade 2 teacher and my students are working on writing letters. One of my students loved your book, “Castle in the Attic” and has written you a letter. I am wondering if you can provide me with an address so he can address an envelope and mail it out.

    Thank you kindly,
    Irene Englezos

    • Dear Ms. Englezos,

      Your student can send the letter addressed to me, c/o Holiday House,425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017. I look forward to reading it and thank you for introducing THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC to my students.



      • In your book why is the mirror so in portant

        • Grace, I assume you’re asking about the mirror in THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE. That’s a question for the reader to answer herself. For the writer, the mirror reveals the darkness inside each person, but it also allows light to be refracted which is the only weapon that can hurt the master rat.


  57. I am so enjoying reading about your British journey, Fuff. We are so lucky you’re sharing this with us. What a story (stories)!! -P

  58. Good work. google sdasa

  59. Post-Nice. Merci. google

  60. Harriet Burnett :

    Dearest Fuff,

    Thoughtful and inspiring as always. Cheers from your very own Harriet.


  61. Hiya! My name is Cassandra and I have read a couple of your books, my favorite is “The Castle in the Attic”. In fact its right next to me. In my English class we are doing a project on a book that we want. And I picked the castle in the attic one. So far so good. Well I just wanted you to know. Thank you for reading this (if you do). An you are a fantastic writer!!!! 🙂

  62. hello I like your books! Castle in the attic especiallr.

  63. espeacailly castle in the attic

  64. i think youre website is awesome im nine

  65. i love your books

  66. Which one of your books that you’ve written is your favourite?!

  67. Chris Townsend :

    Thank you for Castle in the Attic. I’m 28 now and my 1st grade teacher read us this book and it one of the only books other than Calvin and Hobbes that made a lifelong impression on me. I now have 3 children of my own and can not wait to share it with them as well. Thanks for the memories.

  68. Hi Elizabeth
    I met you at the yoga this past Monday.
    I wondered whether you’d like to be a part of our Everybody Reads Week?
    The info. is below.
    I think you might have been a part of it before?
    It’s a chance to read to a class or two classes and/or share your passion about writing and in particular children’s books.
    Let me know!
    PS 87 Library Committee

    We hope you have space in your calendar this Spring to join us for PS 87’s Annual Everybody Reads Week. This year our event is from Monday, April 7th to Friday, April 11th. If you are available, you can choose any day and any time period from 8:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Thank you for being a friend of the PS 87 Library and community. We hope to hear from you soon!


    Jilly Hollmann & Emma Paske
    Parents Association Library Committee
    PS 87/William Sherman School
    160 West 78th Street
    New York, NY 10024

  69. Good Afternoon, Ms. Winthrop.

    My fourth grade class recently read Castle in the Attic and thoroughly enjoyed the fantasy. It’s a wonderful book, and I enjoyed sharing it with them and a few parents who assisted in reading/discussing the novel in class.
    My students are composing a letter to you, and I wondered how to address the envelope so that you would receive it. Please advise. They are very excited to share their thoughts with a “real” author.

    Nicole Radke

    • Dear Ms. Radke,

      The students’ letters can be addressed to me c/o Holiday House, 425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017.

      Thanks so much for introducing my book to your students. Teachers like yourself keep us writers writing.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  70. Addie Card is a distant cousin. I cried when I read Joe’s article on his genealogy search.
    Furthermore, I was teaching in Barre,VT when you came in Pownal! I am now retired and live in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
    My grandfather was Leo Card from St. Loius. However, my late mother’s notes connect back to Pownal, VT. I plan on visiting that area and her grave next week.
    I will also look for your book.
    Thanks ever so much in helping to unlock a poignant part of Card history.

  71. (Arthur) John Mosley :

    Dear Elizabeth Winthrop,

    I came across your blog and family tree while researching Mercedes (Dolly) Mosley who married Capt James (Jack) White DSO; the turbulent son of Field Marshall Sir George White VC. Curiously, I am distantly related to Jack White through my mother and to Mercedes Mosley through my father. As you probably know Dolly is the sister to your grandmother Cicely Winifred. Your GG Grandfather Thomas Mosley (born Warrington c 1806) is the younger brother of William Mosley (born Manchester c 1796) from whom I descend. The 2 brothers were in partnership with I believe a third brother George. I have some brief notes of Kate Edith Mosley (a grand-daughter of William) who worked in Gibraltar as a nurse; also a photograph of Thomas Mosley and your G Grandfather Alexander. Kate describes Thomas as marrying Eliza Shea (rather than Eliza O’ Shaughnessy) but I have no other information than this note so I was curious as to whether she was wrong.

    Kind Regards

    John (Mosley)

  72. Hello Ms Winthrop!

    We really enjoy using Castle in the Attic for a book group during our fantasy unit in 5th grade- I have loved it for many years! This fall, we have a new student from Japan, who has not learned English yet, making reading quite a challenge! 🙂 Just wondering if it has been translated into Japanese?

    Thank you for all your wonderful books!

    Julie Kern

    • Dear Julie Kern,

      I do wish CASTLE had been translated into Japanese, but it hasn’t so far. I can imagine it would be a challenge for your new student. And thanks to you for using the book for so many years in your book group. It does an author so much good to hear that.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  73. Debra Shedrick :

    Hello Elizabeth!

    I feel that I know you after reading your wonderful memoir – Don’t Knock Unless You’re Bleeding. We are ‘of an age’ & you are not alone in having parents who rarely saw their offspring as an emergency, although truly your famous parent brings a certain specialness to the notion of needing to be away from the hue & cry of children.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the all too short read & very much hope you will expand it into a full-length memoir.

  74. I liked many things in your book Castle In The Attic. If I had to pick three , I’d pick these. I liked when Sir Simon got lost in the forest. I also liked when William met the apple tree man. Saving the best for last, I liked when William fought Alastor. When he did the somersault and kicked Alastor in the stomach, it was an enormous part in the story!!!

  75. Dear Mrs. Winthrop,
    I loved your Castle in The Attic book so much! I loved the part
    when William shrunk Mrs. Phillips on the street with the token.
    I also liked the part when Sir Simon and William were walking
    in the forest and Sir Simon thought he saw Moonlight. Last,
    I liked when Calendar took the mirror from Alastor’s hand
    and made Alastor look into it. Then, she turned Alastor into
    lead! I thought your book was very exciting!

  76. Dear Mrs. Winthrop,
    I LOVE YOU BOOK! The Castle in the Attic was one of the best books I have ever read. 🙂 How did it take you to write it?I really like all the you used because it made the story very interesting. I also liked the part when William saw Sir Simon in lead form it was really cool but sad. My favorite part was when Calendar froze Alastor I thought it was right for her to do that because of all the awful things Alastor did. Also I really liked when William shrunk Mrs. Phillips it made me want to read more. My last favorite part was when the dragon showed Mrs. Phillips doing her needle thread and the spark that landed on her robe but she didn’t see it I liked it even though it was sad.

  77. Melissa Farias :

    Hello, again,
    Soon you will receive the notes from my students. We are using your guestbook as an ELA extension in blogging based on a book we loved!
    All the students are required to use their teachers emails so any responses you make will get to them through me!

    • Dear Melissa Farias,

      Thank you for having your students write to me. I was delighted to read all their response to THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. Hearing from readers keeps a writer going every day. And we are so lucky to have teachers like you who are turning kids on to books and into lifelong readers. Please tell them from me how grateful I am to have heard from them.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  78. I liked The Castle in the Attic because there was so much detail! I liked the part where William fought the dragon with his dagger. I also liked the part where William kicked Alastor in the chest. As you see I liked when William was fighting.

  79. Dear Elizabeth Winthrop
    I thought your book Castle in the Attic was AWESOME! My favorite part of your book was when William defeated the dragon. I liked that part because of all the action.

  80. I liked many of the scenes in Castle in the Attic. I liked how William stayed to the path to defeat Alastor. My favorite part was when William shrunk Mrs.Phillips so she would never leave William. It was sad when got lost in the woods. How old was Alastor when he took over the Castle?

  81. I like the part when William passed through the forest by himself because Sir Simon ran away to an illusion of Moonlight, Sir Simon’s horse,and William stayed calm and made it through the forest by himself.I liked the part when William stabbed the dragon’s leg and got him under his command. Also I liked the part when William defended Alastor and turned Alastor to lead.

  82. I thought your book The Castle in the Attic was one of the best books I ever read! I loved your fantasy of William, the squire, and Alastor, the wizard, but my favorite scene is when William looked into the dragon’s eyes and saw Mrs. Phillips burning. I thought the language when you described Mrs. Phillips was amazing and I just kept on reading the paragraph over and over.

  83. Dear Elizabeth Winthrop
    We read your book Castle in the Attic. I thought your book was amazing. The story line was the best I have ever seen. I love how William saved the whole castle from Alastor. It was cool how William thought of a way to keep Mrs.Phillips. Your book was awesome.

  84. I love the book you wrote.You are good at making books.William is my favorite character the book because he got the castle back.I hope you make a movie.

  85. I liked it when Sir Simon got lost in the forest because he thought he saw his horse. Also I liked it when William defeated the wizard. I also liked it when Sir Simon turned to lead.

  86. I loved your book, The Castle in the Attic . I liked how you put action and feelings in it. The scene in the firest was my favorite scene. I liked the apparitions in the forest.

  87. Dear Elizabeth Winthrop,
    I thought that your book The Castle in the was AWESOME! You put a lot of great details and my favorite part of your book was when William defeated Alastor.I also liked how you made your characters play a big parts in the story. I think you are a fantastic author.

  88. I thought your book Castle in the Attic was AMAZING! You used interesting words. You used similes like “He walked in shaking like a dog and blowing raindrops off his nose.”My favorite part was when William was in the forest alone. That book is now one of my favorite books.

  89. Dear Elizabeth Winthrop,
    I thought your book Castle In The Attic was fantasic! My favorite character is Mrs. Phillips. This Is because she is so caring to William and his family. Again Ilove Your book!

  90. I wanted to thank you for “The Castle in the Attic”. I am 35 now but as a child I had trouble reading and my mother bought your book for me and read it to me I can still remember the imagery just dancing in my imagination even now. Your book helped give me a passion for reading which I still have to this day. I rediscovered your “The castle in the Attic” recently while visiting my parents home for the holidays. I teach art now at an elementary and I started reading “Castle in the Attic” to all my classes, they absolutely love it.
    Thank you for such a wonderful story. I don’t know if you have or not but that book really deserves a continuation.
    Yours truly,
    Jason H. Miller

    • Jason Miller, it thrills me to know that CASTLE might have had something to do with you becoming a life long reader. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. Letters like yours truly keep a writer writing.

      Now that you’re an adult (if we ever are), you might enjoy the memoir I’ve put up on the electronic platforms about my childhood in Washington. It’s called DON’T KNOCK UNLESS YOU’RE BLEEDING and you can find links on my home page.

      Very best,


  91. I think you should make a third book for the castle in the attic,and the battle of the castle

  92. Message Elizabeth,
    My name is Austin Blanton and I’m a English major at The University of Charlotte in North Carolina. I first read The Castle in the Attic in fifth grade and at least fifteen times since then. Your book was the first novel I ever read and it had such a profound connection with me that from that first read I knew I wanted to be a writer of children’s literature. You imagination and story-telling ability created the fondest of my childhood memories. I know you may receive fan mail all the time but as I go forward in life as a writer, I thought you should know that you were my inspiration.
    Thank you for everything,
    Austin Blanton

  93. Jesse Downing :

    I remember reading The Castle in the Attic a few years ago, and I really liked it. My mother swears that there was a movie made of it, but we can’t find it ANYWHERE. It supposedly aired on TV on some educational/kids channel. Do you, Miss Winthrop, or any readers happen to know if this movie still exists or where we would be able to find it?

  94. Jason H. Miller :

    I wanted to thank you for “The Castle in the Attic”. I am 35 now but as a child I had trouble reading and my mother bought your book for me and read it to me I can still remember the imagery just dancing in my imagination even now. Your book helped give me a passion for reading which I still have to this day. I rediscovered your “The castle in the Attic” recently while visiting my parents home for the holidays. I teach art now at an elementary and I started reading “Castle in the Attic” to all my classes, they absolutly love it. Thank you for such a wonderful story. I don’t know if you have or not but that book really desereves a continuation. Yours truly,
    Jason H. Miller

  95. you are great at this book and the other books you write for my school to read at union local elementary please write back your friend Andy

  96. My class loved your two books, Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle. Will you be writing another “castle” book? My class thinks you should, and make William and Jason teenagers in the next adventure.

    • I’m so glad your class enjoyed my CASTLE books. When it comes to a third in the series, I never say never:)

      Now they might enjoy reading THE RED HOT RATTOONS, my animal fantasy novel about five “good rats” in New York City.

      Thank you for bringing my books to new readers. Teachers are true heroes.


  97. Carolyn Kurle :

    Message Dear Elizabeth,

    I just finished reading Castle in the Attic to my 5 year-old son Jeremiah and we both LOVED it. Thank you so much for such a wonderful, fun, well-written book. We read a lot of novels for young people and we are constantly on the lookout for meaningful stories that aren’t TOO scary, don’t contain “smart-alecky” language, and contain honest and real characters, and your tale really fit that bill.

    We have just requested the sequel from our library and can’t wait to read it!

    Thank you again for creating quality works for kids. We really appreciate it.

    All the best,
    Carolyn and Jeremiah

  98. Dear Mrs. Winthrop,

    My friend and I read your books, Castle In The Attic and Battle For The Castle.
    We loved them. And we would love to see more, please and thank you.
    Will there be a third? What age will William be if you write another? Will time stand still between books or will William be older? Will he be sixteen? And will you continue each book with William getting older and older? We really would like more books. Thank you for these stories.

    Sincerely, Deb

    • Deb, see below for other requests for another CASTLE book. I never say never:)

      Thank you for writing. I’m so glad you loved my words about William… no matter how many characters I’ve created over the years, he remains one of my top favorites.


  99. dear elizibeth my name is angel boykin .im in 5th grade and we are reading your book called castle in the attic!!you are a alsome writer .i am writting you for extra credit !!!
    love angel

  100. Hillary Rice :

    Dear Mrs. Winthrop,
    I am a fourth grade teacher in Ashland, KY. My class and I just finished reading both your books, Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle. My kids are trying to write a third book and hope that someday you will create another adventure for William and Sir Simon. IF you get a chance to respond can you please send a reply for my kids to read.
    Thank you,
    Hillary Rice

    • Dear Hillary Rice,

      I hope someday to create another CASTLE adventure and have made notes for that day. I always tell writers to use the tool, WHAT IF? What if Alastor came alive again? What if Jason slipped back to the kingdom and William had to go rescue him? What if Mrs. Phillips came back from England for a visit and disappeared? I hope your kids have fun writing their version of what happens in a third book. Let me know how it goes.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  101. Dear Mrs. Winthrop,
    I’m an American Heritage Girl in troop 0158 and I’m working on my Book Adventurer Badge. As part of the requirements for the badge I have to write to an author. I just wanted to tell you how much I like the book The Castle in the Attic. I really liked the plot. I think that its cool that William does gymnastics because it’s a really cool sport that I enjoy watching.


    • Thanks for writing to me. Have you read my book COUNTING ON GRACE? I think you might enjoy that one too. I love the name, Lydia. Elizabeth Winthrop

  102. jillian orr :


  103. jillian orr :

    i think that you should make a third sequal to the castle in the attic it should be about alesdoor being eating by a bass and Williams dad catches it and when he gets home he cuts the bass open he finds alesdoor and he washes him off and gives him to william and william forgot about alesdoor and william acadently touches alesdoors cheak and alesdoor is slowly developing and in the middle of the night alesdoor is all developed and he go’s to the castle where sir simon and the girl are still awake and alesdoor puts a spell on the rats and they all atake the castle and alesdoor frezzez sir simon and the girl has a comuticatin divis and comuticates to william and the next day they go to the castel and the dragon and rat were back and the rats could go in the sun

  104. Cinnamon Scholz :


    My son, Logan Scholz-Bynum just finished your book and soon his report will be due. The book he finished reading was The Castle in the Attic.

    I just wanted to drop-a-line and let you know he truely enjoyed every page.

    Special Regards,

    Cinnamon Scholz
    Tomball, TX

    Cinnamon Scholz

  105. Every year, when my U.S. History class starts studying about Lewis Hine, child labor laws, reform movements, I take out my May/June, 2006 Social Education magazine, which I saved, make copies of your article on Addie and have my students write letters to her. I amazes me that after all this time, I still feel such a sense of sadness and loss for this little girl. Thank you for publishing this article, it goes a long way to keeping both me and my students grounded in gratitude for both the Addie’s of the world and the Hine’s who made it a mission to expose the conditions which these children spent their young lives.
    Judi Graff
    Soc. Studies Teacher
    St. Anne School
    Barrington, IL

  106. I’m very sorry about the names in The Battle For the Castle I ment Deegan and Gudrin. Sometimes i read character’s name’s wrong. Sorry about that.

  107. Dear Mrs.Winthrop,
    I would first like to say how thrilling and amazing your books are. I have only read two of them, but I do not need to read the others to know that they are very detailed.
    The Castle In the Attic and The Battle for the Castle are the ones that I have read and they have an amazing journey to follow along with your characters. I have a few questions for you if you don’t mind answering them.
    *Where do you get your names like Deegan and Gurdin?
    *Do you particularly like castles?
    *How do you keep writing? (I have trouble with things like details.)

    Kristen Clary

  108. Nikki Sylianteng :

    Hi Elizabeth,

    I didn’t read a ton of books as a child, but when I was around 5 or 6, I had a favorite book entitled “Lizza and Harold: Best Friends” I loved the cat’s cradle spread, and although I knew it wasn’t meant to be an instructional piece, I pretended that it was and followed along.
    I am 30 years old now and married. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that your book greatly influenced what I thought/think a relationship should be.

    Just thought you’d want to know that.


    PS: I don’t remember where my copy went, but I bought a used library copy from Amazon a couple years ago. Seems like it is now out of print.

    • Elizabeth Winthrop :

      Hi, Nikki.
      I’m so happy to hear that LIZZIE AND HAROLD meant a lot to you as a child. You can imagine what a thrill it is for a writer to know that something a child read twenty-five years ago still resonates for the adult she’s become.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know.


  109. Dear Mrs. Winthrop,
    I love you book….”The Castle In The Attic”. Can You please write more?
    As a girl I love castle books.
    In Christ,
    Hope King (16)

  110. Dear Mrs. Elizabth Winthrop,
    If you don’t mind I have a few questions for you. I have been reading your book THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. It is an excellent book and hre are some questions about it:
    – Where did you get the inspiration of writing this book?
    – Is there a certain fact about castles that interests you very much?
    – Where did you get the character’s names from?
    – Has reading fascinated you very much since you were young?

    Well, those are the questions that I would like to here the answers to. Thank you so much for your time.

    Ankita Katukota

    • Ankita, I wrote THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC because my son’s beloved babysitter was leaving us. I always loved reading about castles and knights in armor. When other people were playing with dollhouses, I was playing with a castle which is frankly, just another kind of dollhouse. I picked names for my characters that I knew would have been used in the Middle Ages.
      I love to read. In my opinion, if you don’t read, you really can’t be a writer.


  111. mike and Taylor :

    Thank you so much ! Our favorite hobby is reading too! She is in our imagtion too! We are inspired by you! Thank you for inspiring us. We hope pretty soon we can read Castle in the Attic! It sounds good and people say its good!We both wrote our own stories when we were 10. Thank you!

    Thank you for inspiring us! Taylor and Mike

  112. Shelby, I’m so glad you like THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC.

    Here’s the best link to find out about me and my writing.

    To tell you a little about myself, I get my ideas from the people around me, the places I’ve lived in, and the things I hear children talk about. I keep a journal where I put down all my secret thoughts and feelings plus descriptions of people and reports about books I’ve read and lists of ideas for new books. If you want to be a writer, it’s a good idea to keep a notebook and put in it all your thoughts and ideas for stories and feelings. I do enjoy writing although sometimes it is a lonely profession. That’s why I love receiving letters from readers like you.
    I have been writing books since I was twelve years old. I was born in Washington, D.C. in 1948. My first story was about a mouse that lived in the White House. Unfortunately, I left it on the school bus and I never found it again. I started writing again when I was in high school but I didn’t publish my first book until 1972 when I was 24 years old! I have published more than 50 books.


  113. Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    I am in the 4th grade and reading Castle in the Attic. This book is so much fun. My class is also doing projects to go along with the story. I’ve already made a model of the token and built a castle out of cardboard. I want to do a project about you and tell my classmates how you came up with the ideas for the story. Is there anything special you would want our class to know about your writing and about you as a person? I would appreciate any information. Thank you for reading this.
    Shelby Socks, Aurora Elementary School, Indiana

  114. Dear Ms. winthrop what does Doff mean?

    • Drew, there’s a good explanation of doffing in my book COUNTING ON GRACE. It means to “do off”… to take the full bobbins off the spinning frame and replace there with empty ones that will fill up with thread.


  115. Taylor and Mike :

    Thank you do you live in pownal? Have you met Grace? have you met Mr. Lewis Hine. How old were you when you wrote your first book? is reading your favorite subject? It is ours! What other books have you wrote that we might be interested in? Besides reading what do you do for a living? Did you grow up be round the mill. Who are you inspired by? Where did you grow up.

    I hope we can keep in touch! Sometime maybe meet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Taylor and Mike, no I don’t live in Pownal, but nearby in the summertime. Grace is a fictional character based on a photograph. I’ve only met her in my imagination. Lewis Hine died in 1940 before I was born. I wrote my first book when I was twelve but it was never published. Reading is my favorite hobby. Check my website for all my other books. No, I didn’t grow up around the mill, but I’ve always been haunted by the abandoned, red brick mill buildings in New England where I spent many vacations with my grandmother. I’m inspired by so many great writers who came before me. I grew up in Washington, D.C.


  116. Taylor and Mike :

    Dear Elizabeth,
    We are in fith grade and just finished reading your book Counting on Grace. You are a great author! The details you use are PHENOMENAL! We live in Pownal. It so great to know about the history of North Pownal Mills. Since we are so interested about your book Counting on Grace we were wondering if we could ask you some questions. Hope to hear from you soon!
    Taylor and Mike

  117. Taylor and Mike :

    Dear Elizabeth,
    You are a great author! We are in fifth and just finished reading your book Counting on Grace. We enjoyed it so much! The details you used are PHENOMENAL!!!! We know some of North Pownal Mill History. It is great to know some of our home town history. Hope to hear from you soon. We were also wondering maybe since we are so interested about Your book Counting on Grace if maybe we could ask you a few questions? Thanks Mike and Taylor

  118. Mrs. Young and Her 4th Grade Class :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    We have read Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle. My class wants you to know that they thought they were both very excellent and they were “astonished” (their word). I know that’s true, because they begged me to keep reading each day during read aloud.

    They would like to know if you are planning on writing another “Castle” book in the series. They certainly hope that you are thinking about it! For now we are making predictions about what might happen in the next book.

    We hope to hear from you.

    Mrs. Young
    and the Northwoods Community Elementary School
    4th Grade
    9086 Highway K
    Harshaw,WI 54529

    • Dear Mrs. Young and the 4th Grade,

      Here’s my answer to your question. William is always with me…someday he may find his way on to the pages of another book. Thanks so much for wishing for more… that is the greatest compliment a writer can receive. Elizabeth

  119. Erika Badertscher :

    Hi, my question for you isn’t really a question. Its just an opinion. I think your ‘Castle in the Attic’ is an amazing book. I just started reading your ‘Counting on Grace’ and it seems really good so far. You’re a really good author Ms. Winthrop.
    Erika Badertscher

  120. Charlotte Avery :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,
    I am writing to thank you for writing, Counting on Grace. It was a wonderful story and enjoyable to read, based on an era long gone, but not forgotten. Our local newspaper, The Transcript, had an article a while back with pictures of the children who worked in those mills and that article was one I always remembered. My husband and I live in Adams, MA and often take Sunday rides up through Pownal and whenever we are up there, I think about those children of the early 20th century. Your book brought understanding to what it must have been for them and I couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it. I look forward to reading more of your books in the future. Sincerely, Charlotte Avery

    • Dear Charlotte Avery,

      Thank you for taking the time to write me about Counting on Grace. It still breaks my heart when I think of the children who had to give up their lives and their health and their education to those machines. You may be interested in looking at this site: http://www.lewishineproject.com
      My researcher and good friend, Joe Manning, has found the descendants of so many of Lewis Hine’s subjects and their stories are incredibly moving.


  121. Elizabeth, what was your first book that you ever written????? what was the last????? -Wanda

    • BUNK BEDS first book I ever published. COUNTING ON GRACE the most recent. MAIA AND THE MONSTER BABY with wonderful illustrations by Amanda Haley will be out Fall, 2012 from Holiday House.

  122. i love some of your books, im reading counting on grace and it is great so far. i can’t wait to read the next one! your fan- Wanda!

  123. i met you once with my twin sister Adrianna because won a contest at our school (Nathan hale elementary) I can’t blame you if you don’t remember it must’ve been some 7 or 6 years ago. I was going through some old stuff and found a signed picture the three of us that you signed saying “two tan twins”.

  124. Questions about Elizabeth’s work
    Message I really love your book The Castle in The Attic, but I haven’t been able to find a copy at any stores. I just got an eReader, and I was wondering if you perhaps have it as an eBook. Thank you.

    • Jennifer, I’m so glad you asked. THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC and THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE will both be released in digital form this Spring. Hope you enjoy reading them on the screen. My novel COUNTING ON GRACE is already available on all the digital platforms.


  125. Hi I loved Counting on Grace I read it at my school. Good luck!!!!!!!

  126. Dear Elizabeth Winthrop,
    I wanted to wish you a Happy Holidays and to send you a thank you for your book “The Castle in the Attic”. I first read it in my early teens and though I’m now in my mid 30’s, I still find myself reading it almost every year. Though it isn’t a Christmas book, I loved the book so much that I started a tradition of re-reading it every December to curb my over excitement and anticipation for Christmas. I would try to space the book out so that I would finish it by Christmas eve as sort of a personal advent calendar.
    While Christmas time has sadly become less full of wonder and magic, and more of a shopping/cooking/planning nightmare now that I’m an adult; your book still seems to hold magic for me. My 1986 edition is now starting to fall apart but each page is so familiar to me that I can’t part with it for a new edition. The wonderful level of imagination and wonder that you wrote into the book captures my love of fantasy even now.
    So I wanted to send my personal thanks to you for sharing your book with the world.
    Happy Holidays
    -Sarah Drew

    • Dear Sarah Drew,

      Thank you for this lovely note. I can’t imagine a more upbeat message an author could receive from a reader and I especially love the concept of CASTLE as a personal Advent calendar…I’ve always loved Advent calendars and just gave my twin granddaughters their first ones. They’re too young to understand the concept of one window each day and have rushed ahead.. how good of you to force yourself to slow down in this busy, crazy season and take in whatever part of William’s adventure you allow yourself.

      May you have a peaceful Christmas season and much joy in the New Year.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  127. I love your book Castle in the Attic! It was full of amazing detail and i liked the characters. I was wondering if you have any mystery books for ages 12 and up.

    • Bridget, you might want to read THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE, a sequel to THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC.. it’s full of adventure and scary moments.


      Elizabeth Winthrop

  128. We came on your site looking to see if there were more books in the Battle for the Castle series. We wish William would go on more adventures!

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

    • William is always with me…someday he may find his way on to the pages of another book. Thanks so much for wishing for more… that is the greatest compliment a writer can receive. Elizabeth

  129. Elizabeth,

    When I was about the age of 12, I read Castle in the Attic. At the time, I was mischevious youngster, and not much of the reading type. However, after being forced during school to check out a book from the library, I ended up with a copy of it.

    I read it cover to cover in two nights. My mom was shocked, but to me it even beat Nintendo. So, I went back to the school library and told the librarian I wanted every book by Elizabeth Winthrop. I read the sequel too.

    Today, I am 27 years old, and I still remember the books quite well. I want to sincerely thank you for not only writing them, but also for giving proof that reading can be fun!


    Brad K.

    • Brad, this is the kind of note that makes me get back to work in the morning. Thank you so much for taking the time to post it. I may have convinced you that reading can be fun, but today, you convinced me to keep writing.



  130. Carla Pulley :

    Dear Elizabeth,
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book “The Castle in the Attic”. I am sixty years old and was able to relate to Mrs. Phillips. My young at heart could relate to William. I have two grandsons that live with me. (Nathan – 8 years old & Hunter – 4 years old) I love to read to them and told them we will be starting a new book tonight. Thank you again for the adventure. I am looking forward to reading more of your books.

    • What a lovely note you sent me about The Castle in the Attic. It’s especially gratifying to know that you shared the book with your two grandsons and all generations enjoyed it.

  131. Hi Elizabeth,
    I own The Studio Club ArtWorks! in Pownal which you have visited a couple of times. I am finally selling “Counting on Grace” even though I still have trouble buying from RH. I bought a few dozen at an alternative site which means with the shipping I’m selling it for what it cost me, but it’s worth it just to be able to offer people something that’s actually about Pownal. Check out the Pownal blog post on our newly-updated ecommerce website, http://www.studioclubartworks.com.

    Looking forward to seeing you again.

    • Pat, I look forward to stopping by your store and signing the copies of Counting on Grace. Thanks so much for your persistence in getting the book. It’s so important to me that people in the Pownal area be able to buy it and read it.

  132. Angie Enerson :

    Hello Mrs. Winthrop,
    I am a fellow reader and a upcoming author. I’ve read your book, The Castle in the Attic and have fell in love with your stories ever since.
    That was one of the best novels I’ve ever read, one that captured so much details to combine them into the perfect storyline.
    I will be looking for more books by you and I’m looking forward to reading them in the future. I will certainly recommend your books to anyone who asks.

    (By the way, just so you know, I admire and respect your great uncle Theodore R. very much. He is a great leader/rolemodel and he always will be remembered!)

    Thank you, thank you, so much for giving us so many original, thrilling novels, a well feast for eyes everywhere.

  133. Henry Robbins :

    Hi. I am Morgan Brown’s grandson. We are reading “Counting on Grace” in my reading group. I was surprised to hear from my grandmother Suzanne Brown that we are sort of related!

    I am liking the book and I can’t wait to finish!

    From Henry (age 10, Louisville KY)

  134. john j.o'connell :

    dear mrs.winthrop,hello i hope this trying winter has not been to much trouble to you and your family.i’ve been laid up for a spell and it gave me time to indulge in my enjoyment-reading!my parents were great newspaper and magazine readers and admired your father’s columns and pieces in newsweek and the sat evening post.later in reading your father’s beautiful book “stay of execution” it brought back memories of the battle my father waged at the same time with a terminal kidney disease.the time i’ve spent re-reading the books by the alsop bros. and “taking on the world”has been wonderful therapy in getting me through a tedious rehab stint.some of your works have helped our kids find books exciting and fun. my daughter and i carry books with us wherever we go(much like my favorite president-t.r.)keep up the marvelous work!and if you do decide to write a family rememberance, i’ll gladly buy two copies!many thanks and my regards to you and yours,sincerely,johnj.o’connell

  135. Laurie Campbell :

    I just finished reading The Castle in the Attic to my seven year old son and we both couldn’t stand to close the book each night before bed! What a great story! We can’t wait to read the next book.

  136. Cassidy Berg, Bridger Berg, and Carrie Pomeroy :

    Our family has read The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle, and we really enjoyed them. We would like you to write another one! Are you planning another sequel? We especially liked the way you used gymnastics in the stories, since both of the kids have taken or currently take gymnastics. We haven’t read Harry Potter together, but my daughter thinks The Battle for the Castle is probably as scary as those books.

    Thanks for two wonderful reading experiences!

    • Dear Cassidy, Bridger and Carrie,

      Thanks so much for your enthusiastic post about my CASTLE books. I’m working on other projects right now, so I can’t say whether or not there will be a sequel. However, I never say never when it comes to books. All of my characters have a very special place in my heart and I hate leaving them behind so William and Jason might entice me back into their world…. or Grace into hers.. or those five tap dancing rats in my fantasy novel, THE RED RATTOONS, into theirs.


  137. Jaclyn Castelar :

    Hi! My name is Jaclyn Castelar and I am currently working on a documentary about Lewis Hine for a history competition, National History Day. I was wondering if I could interview you regarding your book, Counting on Grace.

  138. So far I like your character, Miss Lesley a lot. Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile- things have been crazy at school.

  139. Tania Biggers :

    Hi Ms. Elizabeth. I have only just found out about you. I look forward to reading your books. I find your story very encouraging. Thank you for following your dreams. And for letting others know they can do the same.
    Sincerely, Tania

  140. Hi! I’m Marjorie Maddox’s daughter, and just received your book, Counting on Grace, as a present on the ninth (two days ago). It looks really good and I read the back of the book. Since I read so often, I had to put the book on my reading list for about forty eight hours and let it sit on the dining room counter. After a wile it became too tempting and I snatched it up and wrote you this. Usually I try to avoid reading two books at the same time because both stories sometime intertwine in my head but, oh well, it looked really good.
    I’ll write something on your blog and tell you what I think every once in a while. (I know authors like to hear what people think of their work and I really enjoy telling them.)
    Oh and by the way, my name is Anna Lee. I’m almost fourteen and live in Williamsport, PA. You met my mother and signed a book for me which was really nice of you. My favorite things to do are read, write, draw, shop, listen to music, and hang out with friends. Ok, Enough talking- now it’s time to start reading your book.
    Anna Lee:)

    • Anna Lee, I’m so glad that you received the book. Please thank you mother, the excellent messenger, who I really enjoyed meeting at our poetry retreat. Now I can’t wait to hear what you think of Grace and Arthur and their life in the mill. Let me know! Elizabeth

  141. Pleasure to meet you this evening…I look forward to more.

  142. Casie, I hope you received the teachers’ guides I emailed yesterday in an attachment. You can download all of them from my Teachers Guide page. Let me know if there’s anything else you need. I’d be happy to set up a Skype visit with your class after they’ve read COUNTING ON GRACE if you are interested. It’s a fun way for students to “meet” me, ask questions directly and see my workspace. And I enjoy connecting with my readers this way.



  143. Sorry, Patty, that the Skype page has been down. It’s up and running now so you can submit your request. Or you can email me directly at elizabeth@elizabethwinthrop.com. I tried emailing you but it did not go through. I look forward to setting up a visit with your students.



  144. I just finished reading the Castle in the Attic to my 3rd grade class. They loved it and so did I.
    Thank you.

  145. I discovered your books when my teacher told us we were going to do a novel study on your book called castle in the attic. At first I thought it wouldn’t be a book for my taste but at the end I ended up loving it! I loved it so much I just had to read Battle for the Castle. I think you are an amazing authur. When I go up I want to be an auther just like you entertaining MILLIONS of people with literature!
    Best Pages, Dani

  146. I discovered your books Castle in the Attic and Battle for the Castle when I was 9 and have reread them many times since. I had nearly forgotten them until I remembered a strange dream I had had a few years ago involving castle in an attic, a boy tumbler, a lead knight and an evil sorcerer. As you can see I happily rediscovered your books and am very glad I did. Thank you for writing such wonderful books!

    • And thank you for taking the time to let me know how you feel about William and the castle. It’s so moving for an author to hear firsthand how her books have connected with readers.



  147. Christine Pinkney :

    I cannot describe how exciting it feels to finally write and thank the author of such a marvelous book. I visited the famous castle in the attic many times during my adolescent years, and I discovered every time to be just as rewarding, and heartening as the last. It was following the adventures of William, that I could escape the stress and pressures of growing up for a little while. Sir Simon became my hero of heros, and the story was exciting and remained so all the way to the conclusion.

    I could understand the grief William was going through, as I too, lost a dear care-giver during the time of the reading, and perhaps that made it all the more personal. Yet, despite that, it also whetted my interest in writing, history, and traveling.

    I spent seven glorious years in England, and discovered the real castles, and a few knights along the way, before moving back to the United States. I can say your story inspired me, and fueled my creative fire.
    Thank you for writing it, and I look forward to reading the sequel.

  148. Timothy Moriarty :

    51 Park Avenue Suite 7
    West Springfield, MA 01089
    October 3, 2010

    Dear Ms. Winthrop,

    I am writing with a request. I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum at Holyoke. The Children’s Museum http://www.childrensmuseumholyoke.org/
    has provided high quality programming and events for the children of the Pioneer Valley since 1983.
    We are currently gearing up for our yearly fundraiser “Fancy Steps”. As part of this fundraiser we are offering Silent Auction items to our guests.
    I am writing to you to ask if you might be willing to support our efforts by donating an autographed copy of one of your books. We feel that this would be a most desirable addition to our Silent Auction items and pertinent to the mission and purpose of the Holyoke Children’s Museum.
    If this is possible, I would be happy to make arrangements to have someone pick up a copy or you could mail it to me at my law office address above.
    This event will take place on Nov. 13, 2010 so we would need to receive the book by Nov. 10th. I sincerely appreciate your consideration of this request. If you have any questions, please contact me at 617 869-4133 or moriarty4@comcast.net

    Thanks –Atty. Timothy M. Moriarty

  149. Dear Ms. Winthrop: I’m writitng to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading about your research on Addie Card, the little spinner girl from the Lewis Hine photograph. I found it especially interesting because my grandmother was Addie’s sister Annie. As you already know, Annie married Eli LeRoy and moved to Cohoes, New York and had three children – you may not know that all three were girls. My mother Doris, who is now 84, was the youngest and unfortunately the only sibling still living. I came across Addie’s story through the Mornings on Maple Street website late on night when, on a whim, I decided to type in my grandfather’s name. I was amazed at what I read, especially that iconic photograph is on a U.S. postage stamp and hanging in the Department of Labor museum! Although we heard stories about Annie and Addie’s younger lives, we never really knew what happened to her since my grandmother died in 1954 and only had sporadic contact with her sister during their adult lives. Since it looks like my laptop battery is about to crash, I’ll close. Just wanted to let you know that your quest to find Addie Card also allowed the rest of her family to happily finally “meet” her. Sincerely, Susan Morris McLain

    • Dear Susan McLain,
      I’m so glad that my research helped you get to know your great-aunt Addie. Her face in the Lewis Hine photograph and the work Hine did to expose child labor in the early part of the 20th Century is what inspired me to write COUNTING ON GRACE about a millworker in Vermont in 1910. I made up my character and her story, and when I was all done with the fiction and went to look for Addie, I learned that their lives had been very different. I was glad that I got to “know” both of them, one through fiction and the other through a genealogical “dig.” I was helped a great deal in the Addie search by Joe Manning, whose website MORNINGS ON MAPLE STREET details the lives of so many more of the children Hine photographed.

  150. Alexandra Carroll :

    I just finished reading Castle in the Attic, and it’s really, really good.

    I can’t wait to read the Battle for the Castle.

    Please write more about William!



  151. Lovely to meet you in Maine at the Erikson’s.

    If you are ever again in Maine, Caroline’s teacher would be thrilled to have you speak to her class.

    Warm regards,

    • Karine, how nice it was to discover such a fan while standing on that rock looking over the blue Maine water. Say hello to Caroline for me. I hear the twins had a great time riding in the tractor with her.


  152. Your book: The Castle In the Attic was a favorite of mine when I returned from Germany in 1995. I used this book as a read a loud to my third grade class. While reading the book we designed a castle and had a living museum for our school. It was the best year of my teaching career. Now I have just returned from Germany and now I have a new question. My friend there teaches 3rd grade and is wondering if this book was ever published in German. I do hope so because I think it is a wonderful read on the Middle Ages. The town of Biberach, Germany was constructed in Middle Age time. Go there during their Shooting Festival in the Middle of July and you,too will experience 10 days of magical pageantry that will return you to this time period.

  153. Patricia Simpson :

    Dear Mrs Winthrop,
    I have read both your ” adult ” books now and I heartily wish you had written more for us grown-up children.
    Your writing just flows along and draws one right into the story. There is always a feeling that you know the characters quite well, and although you know the end of the book must come there is always a feeling that you want the story to go on and on. Thank you so much for the hours of pleasure you have given me.
    Pat Simpson

    • Dear Pat Simpson,

      How kind of you to write. I am working on a book right now for us “grown-up children” so your words came at a perfect time. Every writer needs to know there are readers like you out there waiting for us and our creations.


  154. Brandi Smith :

    Mrs. Winthrop, I cannot thank you enough for Ben’s book. The Biggest Parade quickly became a family favorite. Dumpy La Rue is my personal favorite. How could I not fall in love with a little boy pig who pursues a love of dance against all criticism and inspires the entire farm to dance! I always want to dance when we read it. I hope you are enjoying your Sonata.

  155. Heather Rhodes :

    Hi Ms. Winthrop,
    My family is actually really good friends with your brother Staurt,probably for over 30 years now. In fact I am going to his house on Saturday because he is having a small graduation party for me. Well now that I am out of school I want to complete my children’s book but am stuck in the middle. Do you have any suggestions on how to get over the hump?

    -Heather Rhodes

  156. Barbara MacDonald :

    Dear Ms Winthrop
    I just finished reading Island Justice and thououghly enjoyed it. The characters were so real and the setting so believable. I actually cried at the end. I look forward to reading more of your novels.
    Barbara MacDonald

    PS I especially appreciated your straight forward way of writing. I get so tired of the over use of metaphors.

    • Dear Barbara MacDonald,
      Thanks so much for your kind words about my novel, ISLAND JUSTICE. The characters in that book are very dear to my heart and I’m always delighted to hear when a reader has found her way to caring for them too.

      Elizabeth Winthrop

  157. Theresa Lubbers :

    Looking forward to reading your blog.

  158. Vanita Evans :

    Ms. Winthrop
    I followed the publications the Gaston Gazette did approx Sept 2008 and did go by and p.u. one of the free books “Counting on Grace”.

    How could I go about getting 30 books for my classroom so I could use the book as a required reading project as we study NC History?

    Thank you so much. I grew up in Gastonia.

    God bless –
    Vanita Evans
    77834 Galway Lane
    Lincoln Charter School

    Denver, NC 28037

    • Dear Vanita Evans,

      To order a classroom set of COUNTING ON GRACE, you can call Random House at 800-733-3000. The ISBN # for the paperback edition of the book is 978-0-553-48783-1.

      Should you need help with funding, please consider applying for a grant. This link might be helpful:

      I really hope that you will be able to include the book in your North Carolina history project.

  159. Lachlan Robertson-Martin :

    I am 9 years old in grade 4 and I am reading The Castle in the Attic for my novel study in Mr. Astons class at Mutchmor Public School. Your book is the best I have read. I look forward to reading the second book Battle for the castle!
    From Lachlan

    • Elizabeth Winthrop :

      Lachlan, thanks for writing to me. I’m so glad you liked William’s story. Let me know what you think of THE BATTLE FOR THE CASTLE.


  160. Gloria Stephens :

    Dear Ms. Winthrop:
    I am a teacher of Gifted Education students for one of the Department of Defense Depenedents Schools in Spangdahlem, Germany. This semester my grade 4 students studied the Industrial Revolution and Inventions. As part of this curriculum unit, the students read your novel, “Counting on Grace”. They were all deeply moved by this book and as a result we had many deep and meaningful discussions about child labor issues both in the past and in the present. It is a phenomenal book!

    My students decided to write letters to you. Their style is in the first person just like Grace. Each student chose a character in the book and continued the story, reflecting on what that character did after Grace left the mill. The students would like to send them to you. Could you provide us with an address?

    Thank you so much.


    Gloria Stephens
    Spangdahlem Elementary School
    52 SPTG CCSE-S
    Unit 3640 Box 50
    APO AE 09126

    PS–as part of this unit the students also renovated a 1938 Pfaff treadle sewing machine and named it “Grace”! Grace was donated to our PTSA where she was auctioned off for $80. They will use the money to buy more books.:-)

    • elizabeth winthrop :

      Dear Ms. Stephens,

      I was thrilled to hear that the students took Grace to heart. And what an inspired idea to renovate the old treadle sewing machine. Grace would indeed be honored to know it was named after her.
      I look forward to reading the students’ letters. They can be sent to me at 250 W. 90th Street, 6A, New York, N.Y. 10024.
      Thank you for writing and for introducing Grace to your students.

  161. Heather Dowdle :

    Dear Elizabeth
    In the past few years (ever since I was able to write) I have wanted to become an author. I have always wanted to write books because it is interesting, fun and i want, more then anything in the world, to have people read the story i have played out in my head, day after day my whole life. Its hard. I know every character and their names. I’ve drawn maps of their world. I’ve had dreams about my book so many times, its like magic. i also want people to know it by heart like i have done for so many other books.
    One of them is yours, the castle in the attic. I have relished over it for years and so have my siblings. i have read it over four times and still get pleasure over re-reading it. Right now i am fourteen and need help starting my first book. i need help! I tried thinking about contacting a famous author like Stephenie Meyer, or J. K. Rowling, but thought of how many letters they get like this. I hope your not busy.
    Please, know how much a fan i am of your book. i have got that little lead knight figure glued into my head and that is why I got such a pleasure in writing. I enjoy your writings and books.
    So, please, please, PLEASE help me publish my book! if i need to tell you everything about it, i will.

    • Heather, you are a real writer. If you know the characters and where they live and what they would grab if they had to leave their room in a flash, then you are a writer. Characters engage you and get you to tell them a story. I did not publish my first book until I was well into my twenties. Please, keep writing. Share your work with other people you know who want to read it or other writers in your school or your neighborhood. Make sure you share it with safe people who will respect how much time and energy you have put into your book. Hone your craft. Start another story. Keep a journal. That’s the most important thing right now. The formal publishing will come in time.


  162. Hi Elizabeth–
    I like your website a lot. I think it has everything you need to have on it, and
    not too much. Your bio is wonderfully written and altogether engaging.
    Love, Sarah

    • Thanks, Sarah. Websites are so detail oriented that I can get lost in that part of them. It’s good to hear from a “viewer” that the whole picture is engaging.