Title: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling
Author: Maryrose Wood
Pub. Date: February 2010
Genre: Children’s fiction
Summary/Teaser: 15-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a graduate of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, has been selected as a governess for three children found in the woods of Ashton Place. But these three are no ordinary children. Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia were raised by wolves, and Penelope has quite a job ahead of her to civilize them– the “Incorrigibles”– in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball.
“Every newspaper and website in America is going to tell you that The Mysterious Howling will leave you HOWLING FOR MORE! So I’m not going to say that. But it’s really good.”
–Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday
Mr. Rex’s quote above basically described my reaction as I finished reading the Mysterious Howling. I didn’t literally “howl,” of course, but I was certainly ready for the next book in the serious. Unfortunately, that will probably not be coming out for a while. Adam Rex has said it best.
Maryrose Wood’s writing style is brimming with clever comments and wordplay, and the theme of rather odd, downtrodden children rising up over stuffy adults (À la Roald Dahl) is charming, though a bit unoriginal.
The numerous illustrations by Jonathen Klassen were fun and worked well with the story’s tone. However, a few of them seemed to be of events irrelevant to the story. Most were fine, but other make you wonder, Why did Klassen want to illustrate that?
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars