Castle Hangnail – Middle Grade Review

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Castle Hangnail
by Ursula Vernon

At a Glance


Fantasy, Humor


Age Range:




When 12 year old Molly shows up at Castle Hangnail to fill its wicked witch vacancy, the minions of the castle are a bit skeptical. Will she be able to complete the tasks set by the Board of Magic so that Castle Hangnail isn’t decommissioned and sold?



  • Original and clever plot–I was surprised at the twists and turns
  • funny
  • Fun, well rounded characters
  • I loved the idea of the minions (like Igor, not the yellow dudes) and the Minion Union
  • Satisfying ending

Would I recommend this title:

Yes! I would especially recommend this to anyone who has read and enjoyed Goth Girl by Chris Riddell.

The Review

When I picked up Castle Hangnail, I expected a cute, predictable story. I was quite surprised at how great this book was. I usually can see where the plot is headed, but this one took some unexpected turns and it was wildly refreshing.
I was also surprised at how funny it was. There are some definite cute parts in the book, but they’re not overly cutesy or pandering, if that makes sense.
I especially enjoyed the minions in the book. The minions–there’s even an Igor-like character–take care of the castle, serve the Master and are employed by the Minions Union. It is quite fun.
Overall, this is a great book. Even the ending is solid. And Vernon leaves a little wiggle room for a sequel. I’d be okay with that.

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