top of page

Discover Your Extraordinary: Howl's Moving Castle

By Corliss Jacobs

Growing up in the digital age, I was always surrounded by filtered lives and photoshopped achievements that made me feel small, unremarkable, and ordinary. On the worst days, I would feel like a failure, since compared to everyone around me, I felt like I had not accomplished anything special. But then I decided to take that first step towards truly pursuing my goals and putting myself out there, and I started to see myself in a new light. I found what made me extraordinary- my extraordinary. If any of your children feel this way, then I think I have just the book for them.

Howl's Moving Castle is the first book in a fantastic fantasy series by Deana Wynne Jones. While it is a series for children, it's a delightful and hilarious read for all ages to enjoy.

Set in the faraway kingdom of Ingary, the book follows young Sophie Hatter, who lives with her stepmother and her two younger sisters. Sophie, the eldest, has accepted her lot in life as someone who would fare terribly on her own and who is destined for the least-happy ending out of the three sisters. Sophie’s stepmother sends her younger siblings out into the world to seek their fortunes, leaving the discontented Sophie at home to manage the family hat shop. Too afraid of her destiny as the eldest to try and better her circumstances, she stays at home making hats, day after day - until the dreaded Witch of the Waste appears and curses Sophie, transforming her into an old woman. With no other choice, Sophie sets off into the world and stumbles upon the Moving Castle, home to the great and terrible Wizard Howl, said to prey on young women and devour their hearts. Sophie must find out what Howl’s curse is in order to break her own, and in the process she finds out that Howl may not be as heartless as he seems.

Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, and is one of my all time favorites. Diana Wynne Jones is a master at blending absurd yet witty humor with a truly compelling and suspenseful story, along with one of the best romantic comedies that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Jones masterfully weaves many plot threads, and little by little these many little threads tug, intertwine, and cross until they are all neatly tied together just in time for the thrilling climax. Howl’s Moving Castle is a truly touching story about a woman who discovers just how extraordinary she really is, and a man who learns just how capable he is of love. It is also one of the few books to ever make me laugh out loud! A funny and uplifting read, I recommend this book for teens all the way up to adults (the numerous interlocking plot threads can be a bit confusing for younger readers to follow). I very happily give this book five stars. The plot is tight, the characters are endearing, the romance is beautiful, and the humor is top notch all the way through. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend adding it to your list.

In this topsy-turvy world of filtered photos and fake social media, it can be easy for young women to believe that they are merely ordinary, and not at all special. Howl’s Moving Castle is a story of self discovery and finding your extraordinary. It is an empowering, uplifting story that all youth should read at least once in their lifetime.

22 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Unknown member
Oct 27, 2022

Wait, I did comment.


Unknown member
Oct 25, 2022

I want to go on a journey to figure out what makes me extraordinary. But I am not a young woman. How old is too late to start trying to figure yourself out? Anyone?

bottom of page