Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Children's Book Review: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Ages 8-12)

book coverThe Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling
Maryrose Wood

One of my all-time best ever favorite books/series is The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. Penelope Lumley, barely more than a child herself, is hired straight from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females to be a governess for the children of Ashton Place. To young Penelope it seems too good to be true. Students of her very own! When she arrives she learns that she was right, before she can teach her students Latin and Literature, she’s going to have to housebreak them first. Penelope’s three charges, dubbed The Incorrigibles, had been raised by wolves and found in the woods on the estate. Lord Fredrick Ashton, the aloof and mysterious owner of Aston place has taken a curious interest in the children and their upbringing. Hijinks and mystery ensue as Penelope must ready the children for the Christmas Ball which is difficult enough by itself, but a howling presence in the attic, Lord Fredrick’s strange behavior at mention of a full moon, and the lurking personage of Old Timothy make preparation quite a feat indeed!

This is a great book for kids and adults alike. I would definitely recommend this to fans of Victorian literature. This book has a delightful old-fashioned feel that is sure to engage fans of Lemony Snicket as well as Jane Eyre. The illustrations by John Klassen express a playful, friendly, classic feel that perfectly complements the text, bringing each character to life. The Mysterious Howling is the first installment in the series and it leaves the reading begging for more. Luckily for you who haven’t read it, there are already two more available in the series, so perhaps the wait won’t be so painful for those ensnared by the cliff-hangers at the end of each book.

Mollie Harrison
Springville Road Library

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