Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Mysterious Howling - Maryrose Wood

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1

Publisher:  Belzer & Bray
Pages:  272
Source:  Received copy from publisher for review
Genre:  Middle Grade Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis:
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?

My Thoughts:
This was one of the book I was supposed to read for Cybils.  I am just now getting to it.  It was one of a little over 20 I was unable to read before the deadline.  I read the reviews of those on my panel who were able to read it first and envied them.  This was such a fun book to read.  The idea of a 15 year old governess taking care of children who had been raised by wolves seems preposterous to adults.  That is exactly what makes it so charming and what will draw the kids in.
The governess is only 15 when she takes on the challenge of not only educating the children in the English language, but also in how to dress properly.  I loved the names of the children: Cassiopeia, Beowulf, and Alexander.  It gave a since of charm and age to the story.  In the midst of trying to teach the children, Penelope finds someone is trying to stop her.  The mysteries continue to the end leaving an even bigger mystery that leads us to the next book.  I loved it.  I believe any fan of the Lemony Snicket books will find this series just as charming.

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