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Item - Sand Castle

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(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(Dragonlarks reissue)
(Dragonlarks reissue)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure - Dragonlarks — no. 7
Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 38
Translated Into: El castell de sorra (Catalan)
El castillo de arena (Spanish)
Author: Montgomery, R. A.
Illustrators: Morrill, Leslie (First printing)
Newton, Keith (Dragonlarks reissue)
Dates: December, 1986 (First printing)
August 1, 2008 (Dragonlarks reissue)
ISBNs: 0553154583 / 9780553154580 (First printing)
193339059X / 9781933390598 (Dragonlarks reissue)
Length: 51 pages (First printing)
Number of Endings: 10
User Summary: Your sand-castle building is interrupted for dinner, and a storm is coming....
Demian's Thoughts:

This is a fairly typical entry in the series featuring a fairly random assortment of beach-themed adventures both fantastic and mundane. There's not a whole lot to it, but it should appeal to kids (or nostalgic adults) who enjoy playing in the sand. A handful of memorable illustrations don't hurt, either.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Mixing fantasy and realism, this book takes you on a beach holiday with your family, where the sand sculptures you build turn out to be full of surprises. You're hesitant to leave your sand castle and head inside your parents' beachside cottage after your father calls you for dinner. The castle you are building is complex, and adding creative flourishes to the architecture is a fun challenge. You hope to resume construction early in the morning, but that night a storm descends, which your mother says will probably obliterate your sand castle. Lying in bed, you hear a faint call for help above the sounds of wind and rain, seemingly from the direction of your sand castle. Your parents would never let you go out in this weather, but can you really go to sleep without investigating?

If you wait until morning, you find no sign of whoever was calling for help. Your sand castle is half destroyed, but you meet a younger boy named Todd sitting nearby. He asks to help rebuild, but are you interested in his offer? Saying yes leads you to meet Todd's older brother and sister, Biff and Marcelle. They stroll over from their family's private area of the beach with their dog, Lobster. You, Todd, and his siblings can reconstruct your sand castle to be better than ever, or go exploring a supposedly haunted cove or sunken ship Marcelle knows about. You've made some new friends, and had a better vacation than expected.

Going outside at night as soon as you hear the distress calls from your sand castle is where you find most of this book's adventures. As you approach the sand castle an ocean wave crashes over you, and shrinks you to the size of a snail. Your castle looms high above, suddenly looking like a real medieval fortification. You could run back to your bedroom, hoping you revert to normal size, but the lawn in front of the cottage is teeming with insects that may harm you in your shrunken state. You might search for help instead, but will the fiddler crab you bump into be a worthy ally, or run away when the going gets treacherous? If you enter the castle you could end up a prisoner in the dungeon, be attacked by an eel, or find a pair of children held captive in a lavishly decorated room. Were they the ones crying for help? Whatever adventure you choose, if you make it home safe and back to your old size, you'll have a new outlook on sand castles. Who knew a bit of recreation at the shore could hold such excitement?

Sand Castle isn't one of my favorite Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventures. No explanation is even attempted for the castle's magic, and you're not pursuing a clear goal. If you want a mini vacation to the beach in your imagination, though, Sand Castle might be satisfying. There isn't much story in its fifty-one pages, but the right kind of reader will have a good time.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

Special Thanks:Thanks to Ken G. for the reissue cover scans.
Users Who Own This Item: bobthefunny (HC), Demian, exaquint (reissue), Gartax, jdreller (Reissue), katzcollection, KenJenningsJeopardy74, knginatl (orig. red & reissue) (orig. red & reissue), newt3425, ntar (perma bound), qazplm, spragmatic, twar, waktool (Original, 1st printing (red, $2.25)(ex-library))
Users Who Want This Item: bbanzai, exaquint, Ffghtermedic, horrorbusiness, jharvey79, kinderstef, NEMO, Nomad, ntar, Pseudo_Intellectual, strawberry_brite

Known Editions

First printing
Dragonlarks reissue

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