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All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
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The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash
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Images of Nature: The Photographs of Thomas D. Mangelsen by Charles Craighead
Just Like Bossy Bear by David Horvath
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NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly
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Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson
Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest by John Lechner
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 06 by CLAMP
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
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Comments for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase: 01/08/14

cover art

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken is the first book (excepting the prequel) in an eleven book series. In my usual scatterbrained way of reading series, I read book three, Nightbirds of Nantucket as a teen. Somehow I completely missed it was part of a series.

The book opens with Sir Willoughby and Lady Green leaving for a restorative cruise to warmer climes. They leave their daughter, Bonnie in the care of Miss Slighcarp. Meanwhile, Bonnie's cousin Sylvia comes to the home via a frightening train ride. Together the children discover that Miss Slighcarp is up to no good. Before they can do anything about it, though, they are shipped off to an orphanage / workhouse.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase has many twists and abrupt changes in direction and tone. With the strange names and dark social commentary, it's clearly inspired by Dickens. Consider it Dickens-light. The book felt more like a series of connected short stories or Saturday serials than a coherent novel. Children though might get caught up in the numerous perils the characters go through.

Four stars

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