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Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In Wild Robert, issues of growing up and showing kind concern for others are presented in ways that readers can thoroughly enjoy. The issues are developed in highly imaginative scenes that involve displays of magical power. The magic starts when Robert, a young nobleman who lived 350 years ago, returns to his castle and confronts its modern curators and the tourists they host. The plot generates both hilarity and suspense as the curators' daughter Heather tries to understand and restrain the nobleman Robert, who makes mischief. Although such contact between people of the past and present is improbable, these two characters possess qualities that make them seem human and believable.

Heather learns important lessons about maturity and compassion for others because of Robert's unpleasant magic spells. He casts the spells because he is shocked and disgusted at the bad manners he witnesses among the tourists. He wants them to respect his ancestral estate, although his family betrayed him there and caused his death for practicing witchcraft. Through Robert's situation and behavior, Jones conveys ideas about how power can be misused and people can be misjudged and mistreated. Without preaching, Jones suggests that everybody the world over, in every family and government, should cultivate the kind of sensitivity Heather develops as she walks about her castle home with its past resident, whose heart is there.