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Author: Wood, Maryrose
Penelope, a recent graduate at 15, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves.
Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 6.80
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 135540
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 8.50
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 48889
Booklist - 12/15/2009 *Starred Review* Three unfortunate orphans. A series of unexplained events. A droll offstage narrator. Is any of this starting to sound familiar? Well, yes and no. Although Lemony Snicket’s illustrious crew does come to mind right from the start of this book, there are differences. For instance, these children were raised by wolves. Moreover, they’re not even the protagonists of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. That pride of place goes to Miss Penelope Lumley, their 15-year-old governess, recently graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Penny, who understands commitment, takes in stride her first introduction to her charges, with their near-naked bodies, matted hair, and indecipherable growling. Soon she has them listening to poetry and playing about with Latin, but things are not well at Ashton Place. How Lord Fredrick came upon these children is unclear; who wants them out of Ashton Place means danger; and whether there’s someone living behind the staircase wall is perplexing. Then there are the questions about Penny herself. It would have been lovely if all or any of this was cleared up. It’s not, so the book serves as more of an appetizer than a main course. But how hearty and delicious it is. Smartly written with a middle-grade audience in mind, this is both fun and funny and sprinkled with dollops of wisdom (thank you, Agatha Swanburne). How will it all turn out? Appetites whetted. - Copyright 2009 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2010 Fifteen-year-old Penelope Lumley, recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, accepts a position as governess for three children at Ashton Place, fondly imagining that the requirement “Experience with animals strongly preferred” refers to a plethora of ponies and pets. Only after she’s signed the contract does she find that it’s the children themselves who are the animals: apparently raised by wolves, young Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia have recently been captured by Lord Ashton in his woods, and it’s Penelope’s job to civilize them. Plucky Penelope is more than up to the challenge, and she quickly wins the affection of her amusingly canine-like charges. There are many secrets afoot in Ashton Place, however, and although the children are well on their way to civility by book’s end, many enticingly mysterious questions remain. What is the mysterious howling that can sometimes be heard in the walls on the fourth floor? What kind of “prey” has Lord Ashton invited his friends to hunt during a full-moon stay at Ashton Place? Isn’t it odd that Penelope’s hair is the same chestnut as Cassiopeia’s, a fact only now apparent after Penelope stopped using a hair rinse prescribed by her former teacher? Fortunately, this is only Book 1, and eager readers will impatiently await Book 2 to begin piecing together some of the tantalizing puzzles. Although the sophisticated narration is sometimes overly wordy, the mysteries and the humor of the three dog-like children (there are some particularly amusing scenes involving squirrels) learning social graces will easily keep readers turning pages. Penelope is a sympathetic and fresh take on a classic character, and Lemony Snicket fans and those who are a few years shy of devouring ?Jane Eyre ?will gobble up this Victorian-era gothic-lite tidbit. Final illustrations not seen. JH - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2010 Gr 5–8— Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire of a 19th-century English governess story. A witty omniscient narrator speaks directly to modern readers and follows 15-year-old Penelope, recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, to British country manor Ashton Place, where conniving Lord Fredrick has discovered three wild children apparently raised by wolves while hunting in his vast forest property. To Lord Fredrick, who's named them Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia Incorrigible, the children are trophies and property ("Finder's keepers, what?"); to young Lady Constance they're savage nuisances who howl, chase squirrels, and gnaw on shoes. Enter Penelope Lumley, charged with taming them in time for a Christmas party, and bolstered by her top-notch classical education and an endless supply of platitudes from Agatha Swanburne. She also comes armed with a cherished book of poetry and her favorite fiction series, "Giddy-Yap, Rainbow!" There are stock characters, and there are mysteries. Most of all, without taking itself too seriously, there is commentary on writing itself, the dangers and the benefits of relying on books for moral courage, and the perils of drawing false expectations of the world from literature. Penelope shows growth, confronting issues of social class and expectation versus reality, and eventually realizing her own capacity for insight. Humorous antics and a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep children turning pages and clamoring for the next volume, while more sophisticated readers will take away much more. Frequent plate-sized illustrations add wit and period flair.—Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.