** I’ve started a new Facebook-based book club! Learn more HERE.**
This month’s book is: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Summary (from BN.com):
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.
Before you Read:
1. What are your expectations for the book?
2. What do you think of the cover?
3. Take a guess – why or what makes the castle move? (We’ll find out when we read what happens and compare our findings to this answer!)
4. Do you feel it was right for Sophie’s sisters to switch places?
5. What do you think of Sophie’s encounter with the Witch of the Waste? What about the spell she put Sophie under?
6. What do you think of the bargain between Calcifer and Sophie? Do you think either of them will hold up their end of the bargain?
7. Why do suppose Howl let Sophie stay in the castle despite his clear annoyance by her?
8. Why do you think the scarecrow came to life, and why might it have wanted to come in?
9. Considering that both Michael and Howl are pursuing Sophie’s sisters, how do you picture the relationships later on in the story? Do you think they’ll still be together, or that Howl/Michael will become part of the Hatter family?
10. What was the hint that Calcifer gave, and what might it have to do with the contract?
11. What do you think is behind the black door?
12. What connection might there be between the poem Miss Angorian read and Howl?
13. Do you believe Mrs. Pentstemmon is right in suggesting that Sophie is a witch? Do you think Sophie has powers she’s unaware of?
14. Why doesn’t the dog-man leave? Who might he really be?
15. Are you surprised to find out that the scarecrow was really Prince Justin and the dog was Wizard Suliman?
16. Did you suspect something odd about Miss Angorian all along? If so, why did you feel that way?
17. What did you think about Howl giving his heart to the fallen star (Calcifer)? Do you think it was a fair trade?
18. Did you want Sophie and Howl would fall in love? Why or why not? Are you glad that they did?
19. Are you glad that Calcifer returned?
20. How do you imagine everyone’s future in the story? (Sophie, Howl, Michael, Sohpie’s sisters, Calcifer, etc.)
21. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Book Club Dare: Watch the movie of the same title if you have not already seen it. How are the movie and book similar or different? Which do you prefer better, the movie or the book, and why?