The Mysterious Howling

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1

by Maryrose Wood

Ill. by Jon Klassen

Brief Summary: Penelope Lumely has just graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and is embarking on her first job interview to be a governess at Ashton Place. When she arrives for the interview, she is surprised to find out that the children she would be in charge of were actually discovered in the Ashton Place woods and had, quite literally, been raised by wolves. But a Swanburne girl does not turn away from a challenge, so Miss Lumely accepts the job and immediately begins instructing her charges…but a nefarious plot is afoot – and Penelope and the children seem to be at the center of it!

Kell’s Chatty Review: I loved, loved LOVED this book. It’s told from a third-party narrator’s perspective and throughout the entire book I could hear a fantastic British accent telling me the story (I can only imagine how awesome the audio book is). I was pleasantly reminded of The Princess Bride – how the story unfolds with someone telling a story with their own additions, asides and delightful notes.

Penelope: Is a star. Seriously. This was one of her first lines in the book:

Is it the bandits?” Miss Lumley cried, half asleep. “For, though unarmed, I will fight!”

How can you not adore a main character with gumption like that. She is a true heroine, reminiscent of historical novels – filled with class, boldness and a polite demeanor that makes her fantastically fun to follow.

But the unseen narrator: takes the cake. My 100% favorite line from the entire book came from him (in my head the narrator is male, however I assume that it could be female, so, make this apply as you like):

A perplexing development!”

Seriously: I adored it all the way through and I cannot wait for

Book Two: Which, to be honest, while reading the first half I didn’t see how it could have a Book Two. Things were moving along so smoothly. But, alas, you get to the end and there’s a mystery afoot! A few mysteries, actually, and I wait in eager anticipation to see how they unfold!

I would be a terrible person: If I didn’t also mention the amazing illustrations. Klassen did a fantastic job of making the illustrations awesome and slightly spooky. Perfect for this book.

What I most want to do after reading this book: How about what I did not want to do: Become a governess. Never saw the appeal there.

Where this book came from: the library! woo ILL!

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