The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls

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15 Responses to “The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls”

  1. Kaj C-M. Says:

    Summary: The Glass Castle is a true story about a young, brave girl named Jeannette Walls and her family, and what it was like to grow up in this family and to be a part of it. The stories that she tells the reader about are extremely shocking to say the least, with the many adventures and incidents that happen to this family. The novel is one that should be read at least once in your life time. Jeannette grows up to be very successful with her life, and she dedicates this novel to her family. At times it must have been very hard and traumatic for a child, but she also went on adventures with her family that many are not able to experience on their own. This is a fantastic novel that I think is by far one of the greatest books that I have ever read, I think that this book should read by everyone at least one time if not more!

    Evaluation: You won’t be able to put this book down. Astonishing stories lurk around the turn of each page; you won’t be able to stop until you know what happens next. Jeannette Walls is an amazing writer with an even more thrilling and amazing story. This book is uplifting and inspiring. The story had depth, growth and left absolutely nothing out. The Glass Castle had everything from crazy family members to family members who just want to get out and forget. Growing up was an experience to be had, both amazing and difficult for the children in this novel. For example the neurotic father in the story takes his children to pet untamed lions and made them travel up and down the western US with no idea of a stable home. The reader really feels a part of the story and there are times where you will want to reach into the book and save these children. You will be shocked, warmed, dumbfounded, and enraptured by this book. It’s amazing how strong people can really be and the lives that each of us lead can be so much deeper than we imagine.

    Rating: 5 stars

  2. Lauren G. Says:

    Jeannette Wall’s book The Glass Castle is an adventure that is a true story and will leave you wanting for more at every turn. While this book could be classified as an adventure it’s not as fun and fluffy as most adventures are, this book was written off of a little girl’s experience. To imagine the difficulties she and her siblings overcame together to survive in their ever changing environment is abhorrent. Although their family morals are crooked and twisted Jeannette and her siblings are close to their parents until the end neared, but by that time Jeannette and her siblings realize their life isn’t really a walk in the park. I really like how the book was written through the eyes of Jeannette. It really gave perspective and reality to the events occurring in the book. Also, another good element to the book is the always changing setting. They’re in the desert, they’re in the city, they’re in the slums but wherever they are there’s always an adventure and there’s always a new story. There were many colorful characters in Jeannette’s family from her drunk, cheating father to her artistic sister Lori. When I reached the end of the novel my views of Jeannette’s parents change from seeing them as loving and caring to that they were careless and neglectful. I think when Jeanette said “Just because I live here now doesn’t mean I can’t move,” She meant that in a literal way and figurative way, I think she meant that she was going to break off from her parents and be free to live without their confines. It is as if she was breaking free of some sort of invisible chains that are holding her and her sisters back and setting off to see what the world was like. I would recommend this book for mature audiences as there are some parts that would be inappropriate for younger readers. Another reason I would recommend this book for more mature readers is there are some ideologically sensitive areas that younger readers would not understand. I give this book a rating of three and a half stars because while most of it was very interesting there were some parts where the going was slow.

  3. Mitchell K. Says:

    Jeannette Walls’s book The Glass Castle is an urban novel. The Glass Castle is a great book on how to always keep your head up and push on. The theme of this book is how moving around a lot and not having a stable income or family can affect your children drastically in mental and physical ways. This book also is about an urban family who skips from town to town looking for work and trying to live a happy life. Jeannette (Author of this book) starts out as a three-year-old standing on a chair to reach the stove top as she boils her own hotdog. Her pink dress catches on fire, and she gets horribly burned. After a few days in the hospital, Rex Walls (Dad) shows up, lifts Jeannette out of bed and they break-out “Rex Walls Style” leaving the hospital without paying the bill. After they do this a few days later dad gets a hint that the government is on their tail so they move to a desert town. Dad’s alcoholism leads them to move frequently along with his unwillingness to not keep a job for more than a few months at most. They settle down in a small mining town, Battle Mountain, Nevada, for a few months and Jeannette and Brian spend countless hours exploring the desert. Mom even takes a break from her art projects to hold down a job as a teacher to extend their stay. A minor altercation with law enforcement, however, compels them to move once more. The only complaint I have about this book is that it’s kind of weird. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to someone that’s under the age of 13 because of some weird scenes and subjects throughout the book.

  4. Ian R. Says:

    Jeannette Walls records the story of her early life in the book The Glass Castle. This memoir has recurring themes of Self Reliance, Non-conformity, and the “Perversion of Nature”. I like that Jeannette wrote the book from not only the perspective of her self, but also from her perspective and knowledge at that moment. I like that the book has so much detail and un-sugarcoatedness, it feels as close to the real world as could be. Jeannette gives us the truth about what happened, not some toned down version of events. This book is about the author (Jeannette Walls) and her early life with her parents (Rex Walls and Rose Mary) whose beliefs about life always seem to clash with the rest of the world’s. They move many many times, never staying in one place for too long. Rex never holds down a job and Rose Mary obsesses with art. Both of them believe that modern conveniences make people weak and reliant on them. Also they love the life they have and don’t want it to change. But Jeannette wants the better life even though she does not not realize it at first. This is the story of her fight to make her life her own. This is The Glass Castle.

    Personally I would recommend that anyone who is in high school read it. There are some sexual themes in this book so be forewarned. I would give this book 5 stars, because I really enjoyed it and thought it was very interesting.

  5. Summer D. Says:

    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a riveting, almost unbelievable memoir that makes a reader abruptly grateful for what they have. This book teaches us about strength, endurance, and the toughness of a family’s nomadic life in the 1960’s. Jeannette gives a complete self-pitiless account of her brutal childhood, absolutely barbaric in the eyes of most that would read the book. Throughout the book, Jeannette and her siblings Lori, Brian, and Maureen bear the constant burden of pretending their experiences are an adventure, completely fine and wonderful. Yet most of the time, the silent consensus is that their parents, Rex and Rose Mary Walls are struggling with bills, the police, child support, and just putting food on the table. They’re constantly moving across the United States, doing what Rex called, “the skedaddle.” It’s hard for readers to believe the first event of Jeannette burning herself making hot dogs when she was three, completely allowed by her mom, but Jeannette looks back with total absence of emotion, not feeling sorry for herself or mad at her parents for letting her cook at three. This is what makes the book so refreshing and surprising, because a lot of kids complain about the pettiest of things nowadays. What also makes this book interesting is the total unconventionality of it all. Traveling across the country and not staying in one place for very long is strange for most books, but especially for a completely true story. Not only that, but Rex and Rose are not really trying to fix it or better their lives. When Dad brings in money or Mom gets something from one of her teaching jobs, Dad spends most of it on booze and Mom doesn’t budget. This all relates to the underlying family issues that the kids can’t comment on, or else it would be admitting that their life wasn’t all that it was made up to be. It leaves you constantly wondering if one of the kids will stand up to Rex or Rose. You’ll find that all the events that occur in this book are unjust, but you just keep reading because it is so wrong. You want the kids to win, but they can’t do much to stand up to their parents, especially when Jeannette really does love her Dad. This book is so great because it makes you think. Would you have put up with all that their Mom and Dad did if you were in their shoes? It also deals with issues like rape, violence, poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence. You really become thankful for what you have when you read this, but this book is really more suitable for a mature audience. The sheer surrealism of The Glass Castle is what makes it so great.

  6. Sophia L. Says:

    When someone says non-fiction I immediately think “Booorring’.” The Glass Castle is an exception. It is almost hard to believe this book is true because it’s filled with so many crazy adventures, things that would seem farfetched in fiction but because it actually happens it makes it all the more appalling, funny and touching at the same time.
    The Glass Castle follows the adventures of the eccentric Walls family, the dreamy, opinionated, drunk father Rex, the psychotic mom, a brother and sister and, of course, the main character and author Jeannette. Jeannette tells the story of her young life in the most captivating way, talking about all her crazy experiences. For example, when the ‘FBI’ is chasing them, Rex puts all the kids in the back of a U-Haul (including the baby) and the back doors come open on the highway. Can you imagine dropping everything and just moving all the time? Your dad throwing the cat out of the car? How about being eight and shooting a boy who tries to molest you? Well that’s just a day in the life of Jeannette Walls.
    I would definitely recommend this book for individuals over the age of 13 and give it five stars; I must say it does contain some mature content, language and sexuality. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you think you can handle it then do because I can guarantee you will not regret reading The Glass Castle.

  7. Latisha J. Says:

    Summary: This story is an autobiography of a young girl who went through a lot in her childhood and describes in detail the tragic things she went through that no one her age should have gone through. Her father was a drunk who made broken promises, and her mother was in no shape to be a good mom. Her father lost his job often, and since they needed money they had to keep on moving from place to place. During all of this her father holds yet another empty promise of building them a glass castle. She hopes and dreams that one day it will come true, but as time goes on hope is fading.

    Evaluation: This was by far one of my favorite books. It is a wonderful young adult book that pretty much everyone will love. The fact that its a true story told in great detail makes it that much more powerful. It has a great message to it, and even if you are not that big of a reader, this book will keep you on it.

    Raitng: 5 stars

    Recommendations: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse.

  8. Katie K. Says:

    Summary: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, is a memoir about her life growing up. Jeannette’s father is an alcoholic and mentally unstable. Jeannette’s family of six is always struggling with money, because her father can’t keep a job for very long, and he likes to move around. Jeannette’s mother, who’s an artist, doesn’t really have a job, and she’s mentally unstable also. When their family does have money, it usually disappears on art supplies, cigarettes, and alcohol. As Jeannette grows up, she has many different stories to tell and she puts them in this memoir.

    Evaluation: This is a very capturing book; it sets off different emotions and holds your attention to the very ending wanting to read more. It’s shocking that all the stories Jeannette shared in her book came from one childhood, and it’s interesting to see how she handled all the different situations as a young girl.

    Rating: Five Stars.

    Recommendations: A Million Little Pieces, The Outsiders, Good Omens

  9. Elisha S. Says:

    Summary: Jeannette Walls tells her story of life growing up with the Walls family. Always moving around, she and her siblings, Lori, Brian, and Maureen, try to find a place they can call home. But home isn’t home if their parents – an alcoholic dad and a carefree, childish mom – are still in charge.

    Evaluation: Out of all the books I’ve read, this is definitely one of the better ones. I love the details, the stories, and how real Walls made it sound. She didn’t assume that because it’s a memoir, everyone will know it is real. I can also relate a little bit with the fact that I’ve moved around, but to also deal with the things Walls was on top of that must be really difficult. I applaud her and her willingness to become a successful writer even if the odds and somewhat her family were against her.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin, Night by Elie Wiesel

  10. Mallory L. Says:

    The Glass Castle is a memoir about the hardships and calamity Jeannette faces as a child and teenager in a dysfunctional and eccentric family life. Her parents are restless, lawless, and always on the move, and they rarely have any money (and when they do, it’s spent on art supplies, beer, and cigarettes). Rex Walls, the dad, is a drunk (but has a kind heart) who will leave the family for days on end. Rose Mary, the mom, is an unprofessional artist who spends all her time painting, if she doesn’t have a job teaching (which she rarely ever does). Jeannette, one of four children, learns to fend for herself through many funny, scary, and tough situations.

    I loved this book! The author is a terrific storyteller, and her past is so interesting and she writes about it with to-the-point finesse. The pace is great. To say Walls had a hard life is probably an understatement, but she tells of her past without self-pity or expectations for the reader to feel sorry for her. It’s just her story, raw and honest, without anything else added. The whole thing is very humorous, and sometimes you feel bad laughing at some of the events because they’re so…I don’t know…funny in a bad way.

    Definitely five stars!

    Other books you might not hate: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and Maus by Art Spiegelman

  11. Adam P. Says:

    Summary: Jeannette Walls has a hard childhood. Her family of 6 moves around a lot, and her dad is a raging drunk half the time. The kids take care of themselves for the most part (once they can) and try to keep their chins up when things go terribly wrong.

    Evaluation: The Glass Castle is one of the best books I’ve read. The story is great, and the writing is awesome as well. Something about this book just makes you want to keep reading.

    Rating: 5 stars.

    Recommendations: A Man’s Search For Meaning, Fahrenheit 451.

  12. Mariah M. Says:

    Summary: The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls, is an exciting story about the life of two nomads and their children. They move around through southwest desert towns and mountains. When their father is sober, and their mother cares for them, the life of the Walls children is magical and full of imagination. However, as their father begins to run away, steal their grocery money, and leave for days, the children must find the resources and will to leave their home.

    Evaluation: In my opinion, The Glass Castle is a book that never gets boring and constantly creates moods and emotions in the reader. This memoir deeply touches the heart. Jeanette’s childhood is hard for me to grasp. I didn’t think a childhood could be so corupt for such a long time. Without a doubt, I recommend this book to everyone!

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: Fly Girl, Seed Folks, and Hattie Big Sky

  13. Renee G. Says:

    Summary: Jeanette Walls discribes her very eventful childhood, starting off with her family out in the desert, then soon doing the ‘skee-daddle’ by moving to different towns over and over again. She constantly has to move to avoid the police, though they settle in Phoenix for awhile then move once more. Throughout the story her father promises to build her a glass castle.

    Evaluation: I found this memoir to be sort of like a tamed down action movie; I loved reading about all the different scenarios she was in throughout her childhood, so many things happened that most people wouldn’t even imagine.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: Breathless, If You Ask Me (and of Course You Won’t),

  14. Katy S. Says:

    Summary: Jeanette Walls is a young girl forced to move from town to town with her precarious and carefree parents. She faces many dangers from getting jumped by girls at her school to being sexually abused. Through it all, she is bullied and guilted into keeping her faith in her alcoholic father and failed mother. Eventually, she gets sick and tired of hearing lies and empty promises about building the glass castle, a grand home made of glass for their family to live in, and takes a stand for her dreams and her life.

    Evaluation: This book was an intense and heartfelt book to read that dragged you into Jeanette Walls’ life. Her vivid stories of some of my worst fears are brought to life, leaving me scrambling to read the words fast enough. It was hard for me to put down, the way every good book should be. I would recommend this as a good read for everyone.

    Rating: 5 Stars

    Recommendations: The Liar’s Club, Sarah’s Key, The Forgotten Garden, Cutting For Stone.

  15. Emma B. Says:

    Summary: Jeanette Walls is once again on the road and moving to a different town. Her family is always running away from the law and moving to different states and towns of the United States. Through it all, her dad promises he will build a glass castle for them once they get settled. Jeanette holds on to this dream through all of the struggle, danger, and adventure that her family endures. The only thing she wonders is will her dream come true.

    Evaluation: This memoir by Jeanette Walls takes you back in her life where she endured hardships that we can scarcely imagine. Jeanette describes how her family was moving every other month and either living out of their car, unstable neighborhoods or unfriendly family homes. This book was a very intriguing read that was full of adventure, surprise and touching stories. It’s a great read for anyone.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: The Help, The Kite Runner, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier

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