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The Glass Castle

 Author: Jeannette Walls  Category: Memoir  Published: January 1, 2005  Language: English  File Size: 1.94 MB  Tags: autobiographyBiographyContemporaryMemoirNonfictionSchool |  Download PDF


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, explores the theme of family, poverty, perseverance, the importance of education, and nonconformance.


It recounts the unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing Walls and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. The title refers to her father’s long held intention of building his dream house, a glass castle.

Famous Quotes:

“Mom frowned at me. ‘You’d be destroying what makes it special’ she said, ‘It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty’.”

“If you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.”

“We’re not poor.”

“Situations like these, I realized, were what turned people into hypocrites.”

“‘Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy,’ Mom told me. ‘You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.‘”

“Once you’d resolved to go, there was nothing to it at all.”

“She had her addictions and one of them was reading.”

“I wanted to let the world know that no one had a perfect life, that even the people who seemed to have it all had their secrets.”

“Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”

“You didn’t need a college degree to become one of the people who knew what was really going on. If you paid attention, you could pick things up on your own.”

“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

“And when I first showed him my scar, he said it was interesting. He used the word ‘textured’. He said ‘smooth’ is boring but ‘textured’ was interesting, and the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever it was that had tried to hurt me.”

“You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. ‘Everyone has something good about them.’ She said. ‘You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.‘”

Literary awards:

  • ALA Alex Award (2006)
  • Lincoln Award Nominee (2008)