TOP 5 FRIDAY: Castles
Oh, to be lord or lady of one's own castle. The turrets! The moats! The ... other castley bits! Unfortunately, unless you're a royal in medieval Germany or a knight of the round table, the likeliness of owning your own castle is slim - luckily, there's a ton of children's books out there which describe beautiful castles so vividly that you almost feel like you're there living in them.
1. HOGWARTS from the Harry Potter series
As you're probably well aware by now, it's physically impossible for us to write a top 5 without including Harry Potter - but this one is justified. Arguably the most iconic moment of the first book is when Harry travels over the Great Lake and sets his eyes on the castle for the first time. Moving staircases, sneaky only-open-if-you-know-about-them rooms, trapdoors concealing almost certain death ... what's not to love?
2. THE BEAST'S CASTLE from Beauty and the Beast
It was all a bit bleak before Belle arrived, but the Beast's castle was thoroughly uplifted by the arrival of Beauty. Boasting an incredible library, it's a book lover's heaven - and I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to be serenaded by a candlestick with a French accent. But beware of entering the mysterious West Wing without permission ...
3. THE MOVING CASTLE from Howl's Moving Castle
Not like the others above, but a castle nonetheless. Diana Wynne Jones introduced us to a different kind of castle - one that moves about by its own accord. Governed by the enigmatic wizard Howl (handsomely voiced by Christian Bale in the movie adaptation) with a door that can transport the castle to different spots all over the world (including a strange and mysterious land they call 'Wales') and a fire demon who powers the whole thing, who wouldn't want to live in this contraption?
4. THE MEDITERRANEAN FORTRESS from The Castle
The extravagant castle in this teen thriller is also home to the beautiful backdrop of the Mediterranean. Our hero Peta sets off on a crazy mission to rescue her dad from a high-security fortress - but when the setting is this pretty, the castle can't be too scary, right? Right?
Follow author Sophia Bennett on Twitter: @sophiabennett
5. DARKMERE CASTLE from Darkmere
Not strictly an actual castle, but anything a castle can do, it can do better. Spooky dilapidated rooms? Check. Huge towers with built-in libraries? Check. Curse of a nineteenth-century girl hanging over all its inhabitants? Er ... check. Publishing August 2015!
Follow author Helen Maslin on Twitter: @helenmaslin
Which castle would you choose to live in? Tweet us and let us know at @chickenhsebooks!