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Children's Fiction Fantasy & Magic

The Castle Key

by (author) Karen Krossing

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2000
Fantasy & Magic, General, Multigenerational
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2000
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

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Twelve-year-old Moon lives with her father after her mother disappears, leaving her with nothing but a beautiful ring, which also mysteriously vanishes. After her mother’s departure, her father has become unusually depressed and moody. Moon, however, firmly believes that she will see her mother again and develops a strong interest in magic as a way to find her. Her breakthrough comes when she finds a strange key in the office of Ms. Tanglemoth, the intimidating school librarian. When Moon holds the key, she is transported back in time as an invisible observer to the middle ages, where young Nora, who bears a strong resemblance to Moon’s mother, is oppressed both by her father and his enemies. Moon gradually realizes that she and the key are the means to giving Nora’s murdered ghost peace and to restoring her own mother to her. But how exactly is this to be accomplished?

About the author

Karen Krossing grew up in Thornhill, Ontario, with a family who loved to read. What could she do but read, too? Karen began to create stories when she was eight, and she continued this habit by writing poetry in high school. By then she was hooked on books, so she studied English at university then became a book editor and a technical writer. After Karen had kids, she began writing fiction for children and teens.

Karen uses writing to understand the world around her. In Take The Stairs, which was nominated for the Ontario Library Association White Pine Award, she writes about turning adversity into opportunity through the troubled lives of inner-city teens. In Pure, her latest novel, she explores sticky ethical questions about genetic engineering that today's teens will have to face in their lifetimes.

Karen is a writing instructor at Centennial College and she teaches an after-school writing program for kids and teens through Pegasus Studios in Toronto. She led workshops at the 2003 Canadian Children's Book Camp in Toronto and was on tour with TD Canadian Children's Book Week in 2005. Karen regularly conducts writing workshops and book talks at Canadian schools.

For a detailed interview with Karen, go to For contact information, please visit

Karen Krossing's profile page

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