Author Spotlight: Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones

16 August 1934 – 26 March 2011

Diane Wynne Jones

I’m sure most of you have heard of the movie Howl’s Moving Castle produced by Studio Ghibli. What many of you may not know though is that Miyazaki’s film was actually based on a novel of the same title: Howl’s Moving Castle which was written by, none other than, Diana Wynne Jones.

Howl’s Moving Castle is actually my favourite Miyazaki movie (Spirited Away is a close second, but that’s a post for another day). When I found out there was a novel, I was worried that nothing would be able to compare. Would the novel stand up in my mind since I had seen the movie first? Would it be ruined for me because I’ve already seen the movie? Usually whatever medium I’ve seen first, that’s the version I prefer. With a deep breath, I grabbed the book off the shelf and took a risk.

The risk was worth it.

Jones’ writing is spectacularly vivid. There’s few authors I’ve experienced that can pull me entirely into their world to the point where I can block out everything else that is happening around me. You’re not just reading about her characters’ journeys, you’re experiencing it with them.My attachment to Howl and Sophie grew tenfold. I wanted more. I needed more.

So I grabbed all of her books that my local library had at the time and dove right in.

Where to start?

DogsbodyDogsbody (standalone)


“The Dog Star, Sirius, is tried – and found guilty – by his heavenly peers for a murder he did not commit. His sentence: to live on the planet Earth until he can carry out a seemingly impossible mission – the recovery of a deadly weapon known as the Zoi.” (library catalog)

Howl’s Moving Castle (#1 in series)Howl's moving castle

“Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.” (library catalog)

I finished those, what do I do with my life now?

castle in the airCastle in the Air (Companion to Howl’s Moving Castle)

“Having long indulged himself in daydreams more exciting than his mundane life as a carpet merchant, Abdullah unexpectedly purchases a magic carpet and his life changes dramatically as his daydreams come true and dangerous adventures become daily fare.” (library catalog)

House of Many Ways (Sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle)house of many ways


“When Charmain is asked to housesit for Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of Norland, she is ecstatic to get away from her parents, but finds that his house is much more than it seems.”

(library catalog)

A tale of time cityA Tale of Time City (standalone)


“London, 1939. Vivian Smith thinks she is being evacuated to the countryside because of the war. But she is being kidnapped–out of her own time. Her kidnappers are Jonathan and Sam, two boys of her own age, from a place called Time City. Built eons ago on a patch of space outside time, Time City was designed especially to oversee history. But now history is going critical, and Jonathan and Sam are convinced that Time City’s impending doom can only be averted by a Twenty Century girl named Vivian Smith. Too bad they have the wrong girl.” (back of cover)

For a full list of all her works visit wikipedia or her official website.

Find these books and more on our library website!


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