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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place : The Mysterious Howling

I got this book from Audiosync's FREE summer downloads.  Still not doing that?  GET ON IT!  This week is Carter Finally Gets It and She Stoops to Conquer. Such a great opportunity.  And you can keep the files as long as you like so it's not as if you have to listen to both books in one week.  Although I did actually listen to two books in one week a few back.  Too much time in the car!  But I digress...

From the Publisher:
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

Strengths:  I thought that the mystery of this story - who are these children, actually? Why were they living in the woods raised by wolves? What is the mysterious howling? etc., was great.  I liked the personalities of Miss Lumley and of the children.  I didn't like Lady Constance, but that was the point of her character, to be sure.  It was a fun read because it was just a little bit different, what with the old-fashioned way of speaking, the way the children talked, and the strange nature of their behavior.

Weaknesses: I think it might be just a little too different to appeal to most middle school readers. I listened to it on audio, which was excellent, but I think that perhaps reading some of the story - particularly the childrens' speech patterns, might be very challenging.  Some of the vocabulary, although occasionally defined within the course of the story, would also be too challenging for most readers and turn readers off from the story, which is too bad.

1 comment:

Christa said...

This is awesome!