|League of beastly dreadfuls (League of beastly dreadfuls)|
Author: Grant, Holly
Book 1--Anastasia, nearly eleven, is snatched from her elementary school and sent to live at a former insane asylum with two great aunts she had never met after being told that her parents died in a tragic vacuum cleaner accident.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 174112
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/14)
School Library Journal (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (04/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 Gr 3–6—Anastasia is completely average. She isn't remarkable in any way, except for having very dreadful things happen to her. After her parents die in a vacuum cleaner accident, two very old and previously unknown aunts, Prim and Prude, pick her up from school, drug her, and take her to the abandoned St. Agony's Asylum for the Criminally Insane. She is locked in her room at night, given mysterious lumps to eat (so she starts eating moths), and told not to go outside or she will be eaten by the Beast (not to mention the attack poodles). Anastasia soon suspects that these two ladies with sharp metal teeth are not truly her aunts, that the boy who wanders the hall wearing a birdcage is not an insane gardener, and that she is not safe if she remains in the old asylum. Riding the dumbwaiter through the many floors of the mansion, Anastasia discovers a ticklish shadow who's really the brother of the "gardener"; both boys were kidnapped by the evil sisters. Together Anastasia and the brothers Ollie and Quentin form the League of Beastly Dreadfuls and plan their escape, including making a sugar key, feeding Prim and Prude laxative chocolate, and using a sleeping drug in their tea. Madcap plots twists abound, which include shape-shifters, a hot air balloon ride, and a kindly school librarian named Miss Apple. This adventure is filled with enough mystery and humor to keep readers wondering what will happen next. A solid debut reminiscent of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins).—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2015 Reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, this book introduces Anastasia McCrumpet. The 11-year-old, still dressed in her Halloween costume from the previous evening, is whisked away from school by two wizened old women claiming to be her great-aunts Primrose and Prudence. Pretending that Anastasia’s parents are dead, they take her to their dilapidated Victorian mansion and lock her in room 11 with a crumpled-up old bed and a chamber pot, but no food or toothbrush. Anastasia becomes their servant, but soon realizes she is not the only child in the house. Relying on “knowledge” from the Francie Dewdrop mysteries, she escapes her room and meets two brothers held captive in other parts of the house. The three call themselves the League of Beastly Dreadfuls and plot the demise of the old women. With just the right mix of humor, magic, maliciousness, and suspense, Grant leaves readers waiting for Anastasia’s next adventure. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2015 Poor Anastasia McCrumpet! Not only has she just received the news about her beloved father and not-so-beloved mother (may they rest in peace), she’s been whisked away with two great aunties she’s never heard of, let alone met. Though Primrose and Prudence look delicate and bespectacled as great-aunties might, their metal teeth hint at something more menacing. Anastasia’s daily chores allow her to explore, and she soon realizes that many other children have come to the house-and never left. She discovers two brothers alive and well, kept so by Prim and Prude so they can harvest the boys’ supernatural abilities. Together the three children, self-dubbed the Beastly Dreadfuls, plan a Daring Escape, one filled with sleeping potions and chocolate laxatives administered to their captors. Between the flatulence and poo references, more subtle jokes, and the engaging narrative voice that addresses the reader and emphasizes phrases like Premonition of Doom, this story is likely to hit the mark with its intended audience. The tone slips occasionally and some important revelations come a little late, but abundant humor more than compensates. This charmingly offbeat first in a series is sure to entertain, and the intimations of Anastasia’s own supernatural abilities will have readers returning to learn-and laugh-more. Oh, and extra props for the librarian love. AA - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.