The Glass Town Game

The Glass Town Game

Illustrated by: Rebecca Green
For Ages: 10 - 99
Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner
A Publishers Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2017

Charlotte and Emily must enter a fantasy world that they invented in order to rescue their siblings in this adventurous and fiercely intelligent novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: the train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

This is their Glass Town, exactly like they envisioned it…almost. They certainly never gave Napoleon a fire-breathing porcelain rooster instead of a horse. And their soldiers can die; wars are fought over the potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, Charlotte and Emily must find a way to save their siblings. Can two English girls stand against Napoleon’s armies, especially now that he has a new weapon from the real world? And if he escapes Glass Town, will England ever be safe again?

Together the Brontë siblings must battle with a world of their own creation if they are to make it back to England alive in this magical celebration of authorship, creativity, and classic literature from award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 544 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481476966 | 
  • September 2017 | 
  • Grades 5 and up
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

The Glass Town Game

By Catherynne M. Valente

About the Book

Before Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë adopted the pseudonyms of Ellis, Currer, and Acton Bell and published novels that changed the landscape of English literature, they were little girls who wrote juvenilia with their brother, Branwell, in a parsonage in Haworth, England. Celebrating creativity, imagination, and sibling bonds, Valente’s delightful novel The Glass Town Game pays homage to the early writings of the Brontës, imagining a world where Charlotte and Emily escape boarding school by venturing into a world they thought they’d only dreamed of. In Glass Town, the children meet the characters they dreamed into life, including an army of brave toy soldiers, Napoleon, Wellington, and a young Princess Victoria. Will they be able to solve the riddle of Glass Town and find their way back home, or will they be too late?

Before You Read

Middle-grade students are unlikely to be familiar with the novels of the Brontë sisters, making The Glass Town Game an excellent introduction to the Victorian era and the Brontës. There are numerous short videos on YouTube that will give a glimpse of the Brontë parsonage and the village of Haworth, and the opening scenes of Jane Eyre may help provide context about the type of school the girls attended. For a humorous see more

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About the Author

Catherynne M. Valente
Courtesy of the author

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the acclaimed author of The Glass Town Game, and a New York Times bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, and has won the Locus and Andre Norton award. She lives on a small island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, one enormous cat, a less enormous cat, six chickens, a red accordion, an uncompleted master’s degree, a roomful of yarn, a spinning wheel with ulterior motives, a cupboard of jam and pickles, a bookshelf full of folktales, an industrial torch, and an Oxford English Dictionary. Visit her at