Mentor Text: CASTLE HANGNAIL

CASTLE HANGNAIL by Ursula Vernon (2015)

An unlikely anti-heroine becomes the evil mistress of a castle – in a contrived case of mistaken identity – with heartwarming and mischievous results.

Use as a mentor text to see good use of:

  • Multiperson viewpoint* – We feel close to the MC, but still feel connected to the story when she disappears for a few chapters.
  • Leaves open-ended questions but wraps up the story anyway
  • Antiheroine who stands up to a bully in just enough of a novel way
  • Inverse of some fantasy/fairytale tropes (and is hilarious)
  • Flip-flop between MC’s good and evil natures (in a way that can foster good discussion with a middle-grade audience).**

*You probably don’t want to do this in your first book. You’re a rookie, Vernon… is a former rookie.

**Yeah, apparently actual children sometimes read children’s books?

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