Brian Brown is looking forward to a perfect summer—a soccer-playing, camping-out, adventuring sort of summer. But it’s just Brian’s luck that his parents are away, so he must go to Boring, Illinois, to spend the summer with his Uncle Gary, Aunt Jenny, and Nora, their daughter. They’re just as boring as the town itself.
At first, all is just as bad—and worse—than he imagined. His aunt and uncle have decided that Brian will spend the summer using an online learning program of Uncle Gary’s making called Summer’s Cool—and the only interesting thing in Boring seems the forest which backs up on their property, which his aunt and uncle have forbidden him to investigate. But after he gets into a fight with Nora, they accidently stumble into the forest and discover the reason that they aren’t allowed inside—the precariously-built Matchstick Castle, where there live the van Dashes, a family as quirky as the house they live in.
Once they befriend the family, Brian and Nora are caught up in all sorts of unpredictable adventures. However, once they discover a plot to demolish the Matchstick Castle, Brian and Nora try to help prevent it. Of course, the van Dashes have more than Brian and Nora on their side—with the help of enormous insects, a leaky submarine, and a bit of dynamite, there might be a chance that the Matchstick Castle won’t be demolished after all.
The Matchstick Castle is a quirky, fun-filled book about two ordinary kids who stumble upon a bit of adventure. The characters are well-developed and whimsical, and it’s full of nonstop action and humor. For any kid ages 8 and up, I’d recommend this quirky, funny, and awesome book.