Howl’s Moving Castle
(Howl’s Moving Castle, #1)
by Diana Wynne Jones
Before Harry Potter, there was Howl.
Sophie is the eldest of three girls so according to the superstition in her land, she won’t amount to anything. She will suffer from bad luck and worse, so when a witch’s curse deprives her of her youth, she expects it.
She had been working in her stepmother’s hat shop as an apprentice. Her sisters had been farmed out to apprenticeships of their own. When the witch curses her, she feels she can’t go to anyone and takes off on her own. She hopes Howl who is a wizard and is rumored to be an eater of girls’ hearts or souls, depending who you listen to, will be able to relieve her of the curse.
While at Howl’s a whole new world is opened up to her, and she finds a freedom in being a little, old lady. But will this be enough to free her.
Story is well-told. There is a good amount of foreshadowing for those who read carefully. Boys may be looking for more action and less grooming on Howl’s part.