King of the Castle

Published by Second Story Press

Mr. Elliot likes being a caretaker and a grandfather, but he has a problem: he can't read.

Age Level

Grades 2 to 5

Curriculum Connections

Literacy, reading, self-esteem, family, school

Teacher Resource Guide available


Near the end of the school year, organize a party for all the people in the school who can read. Be sure to invite those just starting to learn, too, and those who may learn next year. Make it a book party, like the one being planned for Mr. Elliot, or think up another way to celebrate reading at your party. Just be sure to make it’s a party “fit for a king”. (And don’t forget to invite the school caretaker(s).)

Mr. Elliot came across several books at Jessie Lucas Public School that interested him, both before he could read and after. Imagine that Mr. Elliot is the caretaker at your school. Make a display of books that people in your class would like to recommend to him -- either for himself, or to read with Jason and Jemma. Include a little note with each book explaining why you think he’d enjoy it.


This brief, concisely written and touching novel explores the difficulties of being an illiterate adult in a literate environment… The affection between the children and Mr. Elliot is evident, as is the closeness between the grandfather and his grandkids. This is a story of love, vulnerability and acceptance. It would make an enjoyable read-aloud story and provide a stepping board to class discussions about the importance of literacy in contemporary life.

CM Magazine