HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones – READ ALONG Week 2 Questions
Welcome to Week 2 of Wyrd & Wonder’s readalong!
This year, Beth and Nils will be joining in Lisa’s (Dear Geek Place) read along of Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
We’ll be sticking to the following reaching schedule, and posting a weekly discussion of that week’s chapters. Lisa will be doing the same on her blog, and everyone is welcome to join in! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to join in the conversation on Twitter or Discord.
- Week 1: Chapters 1 through 7 (hosted by Lisa)
- Week 2: Chapters 8 through 14 (hosted by the Fantasy Hive)
- Week 3: Chapters 15 through End (hosted by the Fantasy Hive)
Week 2 Questions
Chapters 8 through 14
Beth and Nils had a lot they wanted to discuss, so feel free to pick and choose which questions to answer if you don’t want to tackle them all!
1. This week’s reading opens with Sophie mending Howl’s suit. By Chapter 14, Sophie finally learns that she’s been inadvertently charming clothes. Was it as obvious to you as everyone else in the book? Or were you as surprised as Sophie?
2. What do we think of Sophie’s magical ability? How do we predict she might use them to break the contract between Howl and Calcifer?
3. The scarecrow that Sophie spoke to previously has caught up with the castle and gives everyone quite a fright when it attempts to come in. Who or what do we think the scarecrow might be? And why is he so insistent on getting inside the castle?
4. If you had a pair of seven-league boots, where would you go?
5. Let’s talk about Michael’s ‘spell’, which turns out to be Howl’s nephew’s English homework, the poem Catch a Falling Star by John Donne. Did anyone recognise it straight away?
6. Whilst still trying to work out the ‘spell’, Michael and Sophie head out to the marshes to try and catch a falling star. It’s quite a beautiful and poignant moment, but why do we think the star would rather die than be caught?
7. Calcifer claims to have dropped hints for Sophie during these chapters. What do you think? Did you pick up on any of them?
8. Sophie finally gets to discover where the ‘black blob down’ door leads to! Were you surprised to find yourself in the Valleys? What did you make of the journey into Wales?
9. What do we make of Sophie’s meeting with the King? Has Howl manipulated her here to get exactly what he wanted?
10. The dreaded Witch of the Waste finally makes a reappearance, with dire consequences for poor Mrs Pentstemmon! Were you expecting that?
11. What did we think of Howl comparing Sophie to his sister Megan? Was that a fair comparison?
We look forward to reading your responses and joining in the discussion! Check back at the end of the week for our answer!