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I love this whole series, I have the whole set. I love how Maryrose Wood mixes mystery with humor and a bit of family love. I absolutely love the incorrigible children. Wood makes all her characters so real, and really, this series is so unique, it's such a original idea.
I've been meaning to read this book for ages -- the cover art alone was screaming my name, plus I am powerless to resist any book involving orphans -- and I am glad I did because not only did I find it quirky and weird and hilarious, it FINALLY gave me a book that I feel is really, truly an excellent readalike for the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Those books are hard to find readalikes for, but this shares a similarly dark sense of humor (and similarly incompetent/menacing adults, except for the much put-upon governess) and I really do think it's a great readalike for that series. Finally!
Picked this one up solely based on the cover. I had no clue what it was about. I was so surprised to realize what it was about, but absolutely loved it! Can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Although I am fairly intrigued by the portentous details revealed at the book's end, nearly everything else about Wood's project is too formulaic to sustain my interest. I will most likely not be reading the next book in the series. Everything here seems too...safe, or means-tested, as if the events of the book were happening inside of a snowglobe sold in the Urban Outfitters children section. This is not to say, of course, that there's something inherently wrong about being marketable, however I do point to the existence of five (5!) other books in this series as evidence of this publishing team's true intentions. For readers especially fond of animal humor and Jane Austen.
I chose this book because I love Jon Klassen's illustrations and when I saw that his work was included in this middle grade series I had to give it a shot. I really enjoyed this story of a young girl who has been hired on as the governess of three mysterious and wild children. The author's style of including witty and clever asides to the reader reminds me of Lemony Snicket and Catherynne Valente, and fans of those authors might enjoy this whimsical historical mystery. I will definitely be picking up the sequel to find out what happens next!
This was a very enjoyable story and certainly invites the reader to continue reading the series. Penelope Lumley is a graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and is anxious to represent her alma mater well in her first position as a governess. Her first students are a howling challenge -- literally. They were discovered in the woods after being raised by wolves. It is a joy to watch Miss Lumley take on the challenge with creativity and tenacity. You can't help but root for her and cheer as she sees the results of her teaching. There is much yet to be discovered. Why is the old coachman always lurking? Where are Penelope's parents? Where are the parents of her young charges? On to Book 2!
A great book! Love the strong main character. Can't wait to keep reading this series!
Absolutely wonderful book and series! Laugh-out-loud funny, with fantastic long sentences; great for reading out loud!
Interest level: ages 8-12. As a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope finds herself at Ashton Place as governess for the three Incorrigible children who have been raised by wolves. This first volume in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series is hilarious and full of wonderfully curious mysteries.
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Humour. Penelope is an orphaned fifteen-year old girl, educated at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Trained as a governess, Penelope is hired to take charge of three "incorrigible" children. She soon discovers that they are not your typical bunch of naughty children. They are actual feral, communicating in yips, nips and howls. She soon settles them into their lessons, including Latin, as the reader begins to uncover the secrets of the children's mysterious past. First in a series, this charming novel will delight readers and listeners. It is perfect for reading aloud and is available in audiobook and e-book formats.Series: Also available as an ebook and audiobook
There are many novels that play with the notion of a haunted house with a mysterious brooding owner, a fragile wife and a sardonic, sulking servant lurking in the background. “The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling” dabbles with these tropes in a slightly more lighthearted way, throwing in feral children supposedly lost in the woods who are “rescued” by the near-sighted and dangerously trigger-happy neglectful lord of the manor. The mystery behind these children deepens with every chapter. Someone wants them hunted like prey; it is chilling to read the passage where huntsmen debate whether they are people to be respected or animals to be tracked down and slaughtered. Lady Constance, a twittering woman with an unexpected backbone of steel, wants them sent away to an orphanage but is powerless to combat her husband on the issue. Lord Ashton gives the children names but shows no real warmth or tenderness towards them; however, he refuses to part with them. There’s also a coachman who hovers eerily in the distance but remains silent as a ghost. Since there are no answers to these enigmas given in the first volume, the reader is forced to ignore the so-called mystery and instead see matters from the point of view of one Penelope Lumley, a 15-year-old governess who takes the trio of children firmly in hand. Penelope is a delightful heroine in the old school of writing. Having been brought up as practically an orphan, she is an imaginative but sensible, sharp and plain girl who balances daring with caution and firmness with kindness. Ms. Wood avoids the pitfall of making Penelope too sweet or biddable (there are plenty of paragraphs detailing her saucy thoughts of what she’d like to say to put her foolish employers in their place). Nevertheless, it is a treat to read her actions, thoughts and successful attempts to handle her charges. “The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place” is a series worth sticking to, if only to find out how Ms. Lumley handles her sprightly trio and deals with the unknown enemies swirling around them.
I loved this book! It is the perfect book/series for 4th - 6th graders who are strong readers. However, the book is so cleverly written that it is fascinating for adults. My 92-year-old mom is quite a fan.
Very fun to read and look at. The illustrations are marvelous. I like the pithy sayings of Agatha Swanburne who was the founder of the Governess Academy that Penelope graduated from. An interesting mystery of the children's origin keeps you engaged and looking for answers.
I read this book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down! It is very well written and the characters come clearly across the page. Penelope Lumley is a great role model and this book would work very well for upper elementary/middle grade readers. Can't wait for The Hidden Gallery, book 2 to learn more about the ongoing mystery!
It's been a while since I found a series I really wanted to continue reading. Here's the most recent candidate! Hillllllllarious inside jokes to older/wiser readers, but not so much that it takes away from the main story for the target age group. My kids and I ADORE the three incorrigible children. Must read, and a great read aloud.
I really loved this book. Very witty and charming. Can't wait for the next one!
This book has a slow start, but seems to have quite a bit of potential. There are many clever references to classic stories that make the reader feel in on the joke.
Miss Penelope Lumley, smart, sensitive, resourceful, recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Ladies and just fifteen-years-old, is hired on the spot to serve as governess at luxurious Ashton Place. Only then is she allowed to meet her charges?three children who, due to their tendency to gnaw, nip, and growl, appear to have been raised by wolves. Lord Fredrick caught them on his estate when he was out hunting and as he says, ?Finders keepers.? Penelope is not daunted by her task. She gets on swimmingly with Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia Incorrigible, as Lord Fredrick names them (or Alawooooo, Beowooooo, and Cassawoof, as they call themselves). The children respond to poetry and games of fetch, and Penelope feels sure that French, Latin, and literature cannot be far behind. But then Lady Constance drops a bombshell. The children are expected to appear at the mansion?s elegant Christmas ball. This means table manners, fancy dress, and the ability to stand still when a squirrel is spotted. As Penelope and the kiddies rise to the challenge, they begin to discover that there are many dangerous secrets at Ashton Place. There are also many nods and winks to the reader, including Lemony Snicket-esque asides from the witty narrator. But author Maryrose Wood makes her tale all her own with plenty of amusing details?her heroine?s overactive imagination, the children?s endearing mischief-making, and a tone that is droll and cheeky and thoroughly giggle-inducing. By the time the last page is turned, readers will be howling for a sequel.