The Glass Town Game review by moseso
The Glass Town Game
by Rebecca Green, Catherynne M. Valente
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Adventure

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Age at time of review - 14
Reviewer's Location - Spring Hill, Tennessee, United States
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The Glass Town Game tells the unique story of four siblings who are magically transported to a world, not unlike their imaginary game. Anne, Emily, Branwell, and Charlotte all love to play with their toys. They do it all the time. Their toy soldiers fight valiantly against the evil Napoleon and always get up to fight another day. This game is the children’s escape. When the world isn’t right, they turn to their make-believe creation of Glass Town and the cities within it.

When Emily and Charlotte are told that their father has decided they will be shipped off to a boarding school, the children are devastated. This time, they can’t turn to their Glass Town Game and forget about the problems of the world. They are being separated! 

Along the way to the boarding school, a mysterious train pulls into the station. Desperate to avoid the cruel boarding school, the four children climb aboard and find themselves whisked away to a town they’ve never been to before named Glass Town. Everything seems strangely familiar in this new land, and it doesn’t take the bright children long to figure out that Glass Town is, in fact, a perfect depiction of their imaginary game! Well, almost perfect.

It certainly doesn’t seem perfect when Anne and Branwell are kidnaped by the cruel bearer of bad news, Brunty. Or when Napoleon and his evil porcelain chicken gain a terrible weapon from the real world and begin ferocious attacks on the people of Glass Town. In a race against time, Charlotte and Emily frantically search for their siblings, unfortunately getting sidetracked along the way. Will the siblings be reunited? Will they be able to stop Napoleon from escaping to the real world?


This story’s plot is ingenious! The plotline captivated me from the very start. I loved the idea of the children being magically transported to a town and a “game” of their own making. The delightful play on words made me giggle, and the touches of magic were perfectly balanced.

I was slightly skeptical about this book at first because there are not very many fantasy books I enjoy. The characters were not introduced with any positive qualities and their relationships with each other were sketchy. Once being whisked off to Glass Town, however, the characters grew in both maturity and love for one another. The author did a fine job of altering my initial opinion of the characters. 

While the plot was a wonderful idea and I was excited to read about the children’s adventure, I didn’t feel as if the story quite did it justice. It simply was too long (528 pages) and everything was over-explained. For example, the children watched as the toy soldiers used their suitcases to create a superb shelter for them to rest in after a recent attack by Napoleon. While that may seem odd, only one or two sentences were really needed to explain that in Glass Town, that is what luggage does. Instead, the author launched into a lengthy explanation about the history of luggage that leaves the reader without any room for adding their own thoughts or imagination.

I also found the story itself to be distracting. There were way too many words that were emphasized by Capitalizing the First Letter to Make them Seem Important. There were also several words the author created that didn’t flow well with the style of writing. If these minor details were to be edited out, along with some of the lengthy explanations, however, I think the story could easily jump to a 5 out of 5 star rating.  

The humorous play on words was one of the qualities of the story that delighted me the most. For those who are familiar with the book The Phantom Tollbooth, this story is extremely similar as they both have a unique twist on everyday words and include touches of magic.  

In conclusion, The Glass Town Game is an entertaining story for ages 10 and up and those who enjoy pure fantasy and aren’t afraid of the length of the book.


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