& Recommendations

with Abby Kernya

IG @abbykernya



by Diana Wynne Jones (1986)

Genre: Novel, Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy Fiction

Recommended Age:  12+ readers

Followed by: Castle in the Air

Rating Scale

Educational value: ​


Positive message:


Positive role models:








Drinking, drugs, smoking:




Have you ever felt as if you were born into a life you never wanted? Like you were put onto a path you were never meant to follow? If so, then Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is for you. Howl’s Moving Castle is a classic novel that tells a different story from the Studio Ghibli movie adaptation. Every time you read this book, it will feel as if you’re discovering it for the first time. Howl’s Moving Castle follows the peculiar life of Sophie Hatter, the eldest of three sisters off to seek her own destiny. Along the way, she finds herself under a foul curse from the Witch of The Waste. With no other option, Sophie takes a leap of faith in the hands of the notorious Wizard Howl in hopes of breaking free from her curse. 

Sometimes, being the oldest in your family comes with certain expectations. Sometimes it seems as if you are bound to fail. Yet despite being the eldest of three, failing is not an option for Sophie. This novel navigates the complicated relationship of a young girl trying to find her place in the world, and a young wizard trying to run from it. Wizard Howl and his fire demon Calcifer are running out of time to break free from their own curse. That is, until Sophie shows up at the foot of their moving castle. Diana Wynne Jones perfectly captures how it feels to be stuck in an impossible situation with impossible people, and how the best adventures are the ones you least expected. 

Howl’s Moving Castle will have you feeling enchanted with every turn of the page. Each chapter pulling you deeper and deeper into this magical and bewitched world. By the end of this novel, you will truly understand how sometimes, the most seemingly wicked people have the biggest hearts. If you are looking for a read full of adventure, fire demons, and a whole lot of magic, then I highly recommend Howl’s Moving Castle. 

Image by Gaelle Marcel

More Recommended Reads

Midnight Sun

by Stephanie Meyer


Castle in the Air

by Diana Wynne Jones

Norwegian Wood

by Haruki Murakami


The Wind Up Bird

by Haruki Murakami


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