Sunday, November 27, 2011


I would definitely recommend this book to other AP students. It shows you how good we all really have it, and also that no matter what there is always something to be happy about. It makes you realize that anyone has the power to change the way they live, or to keep it the same. No matter what a person decides to do it's there choice and others should respect that. Some people may not agree with me and think the way the Walls family lived is totally ridiculous and think that Rex and Rose Mary Walls were terrible parents. The book will either disturb you or inspire you, or possibly both.


The Glass Castle is about the Walls family. It's all about how they raised their children and the way they lived. Throughout the novel the family lives in 3 major places. They experience harsh winters without heat and days without food. One thing they always have is each other even though they did not always get along. The four siblings always stuck up for each other and were there for each other. They made it through their childhood together and eventually made it to New York together, with their parents shortly following behind. The kids each made a life for themselves while their parents remained the same.

The Best Chapter

The Glass Castle is split up into 5 different sections. In my opinion, section four is the best. Section four is titled New York City. In this section Jeannette talks about where she and her siblings all ended up, as well as her parents. Throughout all of their hardships as kids, the Walls children made something of themselves and that is displayed in section four. The idea of the glass castle is put to an end, and soon after Jeannettes dad passed away. Seeing all of the kids lives take off and seeing how their parents chose to keep the same lifestyle is a big part of the book.


Jeannette Wall's tone changes on almost every page of The Glass Castle because she goes through so many different situations. On page 25 is when she first talks about the glass castle. Her tone is almost innocent because she believes that one day her dad will really build the glass castle. She talks about all the features it will have and she sounds so excited to one day have something so wonderful. Her tone is hopeful, as it is in many pages throughout The Glass Castle.

10 Significant Events

1. Very early in the book Jeannette gets caught on fire from cooking hot dogs at the age of three. She gets really bad burns and is rushed to the hospital. Normally, not child at the age of three would be cooking hot dogs over a hot stove with boiling water by themselves. Jeannette however did this on a regular basis. The Walls children were taught how to do things, like making their own food, at a very young age.

2. While the Walls family lived in California, Jeannette was in first grade. On her way home from school she got jumped by four Mexican girls that beat her up pretty badly. When her dad had asked her what happened she lied and she there were six girls. She said she fought back really well, even though that was not the case. She wanted her dad to think she was tough and take care of herself. The next day Brain helped Jeannette fend them off. The kids often had to take care of themselves, but still wanted their parents to be proud of them.

3. On page 66 Rex teaches Jeannette how to swim. He would throw her into the water and let her struggle to stay above the water, and once she was going down he would pick her up, let her catch her breath, and throw her right back in until she got the hang of it. She was furious at her parents for doing that to her and watching her struggle. However her dad said to her, "you can't cling to the side your whole life, that one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is "If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim." What other reason, he asked, would possibly make him do this?" Jeannette realized he was right.

4. Rose Mary and Rex got into a really huge fight about they barley have enough money to keep any sort of food in the house. The fight continued into the morning after the day it started. Rose Mary went as far as dangling her body off the second floor while Rex had her arms trying to pull her back in. She was screaming that he was trying to kill her, but once he pulled her back in he protested that he did not push her and she had jumped. Soon after,the fight was over. Whenever Rex and Rose Mary got into a fight, it always cleared up and went back to normal.

5. Rex Walls always had something out of the ordinary up his sleeve. One day he decided to take his kids to the zoo in Phoenix, where they were living at the time. When they came to the cheetah exhibit, Rex crossed the chainlinked fence and put his hand up to the exhibit fence. The cheetah let him pet it. Jeannette asked him if she could try, so he took her hand and put it up to the cheetah. The cheetah even licked her hand. Someone got a guard and they were kicked out of the zoo, but Jeannette didn't care. She had gotten her hand licked by a cheetah.

6. On Jeannettes 10th birthday, her dad asked her what she wanted. He told her that he would do anything for her or die trying. She nervously asked him if he could stop drinking. He tried his hardest. He had to be locked in his bedroom for days without any interaction with anyone. He spent that whole summer without drinking and even into the fall. However on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, their car broke down and they had to get a ride back to Phoenix. When they got back Rex disappeared for three days, and came home drunk. Jeannette couldn't believe that after all he went through to stop, he started right back up again.

7. Right before Jeannettes senior year, she decided that she was going to move to New York City where her older sister Lori was. Her dad was trying to persuade her not to go. He brought up the glass castle and how he swore he would build it. He told her it would be better than any apartment she could find in New York. When Jeannette told him she was catching the next bus out of Welch, he walked silently out of the room. Rex had the idea and blueprints of the glass castle ever since Jeannette was an infant. He thought the idea of the glass castle could keep her around forever.

8. Jeannette had been in New York for a while now. She had married a man named Eric and four years later her moms brother passed away. Jeannettes mom told her that they had to buy his land to keep in in the family. She told Jeannette that that was one thing he father taught her, to never sell your land. Jeannette asked her mom how much she would need and when she told her a million dollars, Jeanette was in shock. Jeannette's mom had the same amount of land as her brother did, so when she started to put it all together she realized that her mom had land worth a million dollars. She realized that all that time they went without heat in the winter and went without food for days, they could have had it.

9. Jeannettes dad had a heart attack at the age of 59. The only thing keeping him alive in the hospital was the machines. Jeannette knew that her dad wouldn't want to be going out this way. She wanted to scoop him up and run out with him, just like he had when she was in the hospital, but she didn't. The machines were turned off an hour later. A year after her dad passed away she divorced her husband and bought an apartment of her own. I think after her dad passed away she realized that she wanted something more in life and had to be on her own to get it.

10. In the last section of the book Jeannette and her husband, John Taylor, have Thanksgiving at their home with Jeannettes mother,Lori,Brian, and John's two daughters. Jeannette told John's daughter Veronica that Grandma Walls was different from her other grandma. John's daughter Jessica told Jeannette that her mom laughs the same way Jeannette does and I think that meant a lot to Jeannette. No matter how different her mom was from her, they both did something the same.

Two Places Described in The Glass Castle

Two places described in The Glass Castle are Battle Mountain and Welch, which are both towns the Walls family lived in.
               Battle Mountain was a former mining town. The Walls family moved into what was once a railroad depot. It was made of wood and had two floors. The building was painted green and was located right by the railroad tracks. Rex and Rose Mary Walls slept upstairs while Jeanette, Lori, and Brian slept downstairs in an old waiting room. The building still had original stools and benches which the family used as their own furniture. The kids slept in cardboard boxes, which they enjoyed. Rose Mary Walls had her art work all around their home.
               Welch was the city what Rex Walls grew up in. Jeannette describes the town as a place that was once something big, but then had fallen. It was a dirty town that had one of the dirtiest rivers in North America because the town did not have a sewer system. For a while they stayed at their grandparents home, Rex Wall's parents. Their house had a black stove that was used for cooking and to heat the house. It had a terrible stench to it. The kids usually had to stay in the basement which was often really cold.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Main Characters

The main characters in The Glass Castle are Jeannette, Rex,Rose Mary, Lori, Brian, and Maureen Walls.

   Jeannette Walls: Jeannette is the author of the novel. She desribes herself,as well as her siblings, and lanky and skinny. She has red hair and buck teeth in her teen years. She is the second oldest.  She gets along best with her father, Rex Walls. She takes on a mothering nature when she is caring for her siblings as well as her father. When he comes home drunk or hasn't come home for days, she checks in on him and makes sure he is safe. Jeannette wants everyone to get along, but she won't hesitate to act if someone is being treated unfairly or wrongly. Through all of the hardships of moving around and sometimes not having anything to eat, she never held a grudge against her parents. She is the sibling that seems to hold everyone together. She is very smart and excells at school.

   Rex Walls: Rex Walls is the father of Jeannette, Lori, Brian and Maureen as well as the husband of Rose Mary. He is adventurous and tries to keep things exciting. He loves and cares for his family. He shares a special bond with Jeannette. Although he is a loving father, he is also an alcholic who will disappear and anytime for days. He creates ideas, like the glass castle, to keep his children motivated. He may fail at keeping food on the table, but he never fails at loving his children.

Rose Mary Walls: Rose Mary is the mother of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen. She has a teaching degree but rarely has a job, because she doesn't want to have one. She wants to be an artist more than anything and spends a lot of her time painting. Where ever the family is living at the time, the walls are covered in her work. She loves her children just like any other mother, but has a different way of parenting. She lets her children make their own mistakes and learn from them themselves. She breaks down every once in a while about how the way they live, but then pulls herself right back together. She is not judgemental and believes there is good in everyone.

   Lori Walls: Lori Walls is the oldest sibling. She also excells at school and is above the levels of other kids in her grade. Lori,like Jeannette, is very loving. Her and her mother share a common interest of art.

   Brian Walls: Brian Walls is a skinny,small boy who has freckles all over his face. He can't do very much damage on his own but he always stands up for his sisters. Despite his small size, he is courageous. He usually does activities with his father and Jeannette.

Maureen Walls: Maureen is not born until the close to the middle of the novel. All three siblings help take care of her. As she grows up she doesn't really have anywhere to fit in because she is so much younger than the rest of her siblings. When she is about 7 she decides she wants to move to California, because that's where she was born. She has long blonde hair and blue eyes.

How the Title Relates to the Book

The title, The Glass Castle, comes from the idea that Rex Walls promised his children. He told Jeannette,Lori and Brian that one day he would build a house for them entirely made out of glass, which he called the glass castle. He even constructed blueprints of the house. The idea of the glass castle was something that made living all around the country and living dollar to dollar worth while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

About Jeannette Walls

   Jeannette Walls wrote The Glass Castle based on her childhood and growing up. The Glass Castle was not her first book. It took her 20 years to decide to write it. She grew up traveling all over the country with her drunk but intelligent father and free spirited, artistic mother,as well as her siblings. She could be in Texas for one week, in Las Vegas the next and in Califiornia the week after that. She learned to read and write at a very young age. By the time she was 5 she could read books without pictures. Her and her siblings were educated by only their parents. Her parents never had a stable home, but they were very wise people.
   Today Jeannette Walls lives in Virginia and continues to be a successful author and a writer for Other books she has written are Half Broke Horses and Dish. Ms. Walls still sees her parents on a regular basis. She is married to John Taylor, who is also an author.

The Glass Castle

Walls,Jeannette. The Glass Castle. Scribner; 1 edition (January 9, 2006)