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How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

How to Catch a Bogle

by Catherine Jinks

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1911693,212 (3.98)4

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I love books about imps, trolls, and goblins, but bogles? This creature is new to me. Evidently we don’t have bogles in America, but they run rampant in England. They make trolls and goblins look like pushovers. Judging by the book cover, they are downright nasty looking. In fact, they eat children, making their annihilation a matter of great concern. That brings us to the title of this book. To catch a bogle, you need a trained professional, aka a bogler. Alfred is the bogler and Birdie is the bogler’s apprentice. Her job is to lure the bogle into a circle of salt so Alfred can kill it before it eats her. Believe it or not, she likes her job.

We all know Victorian England is full of homeless orphans. Charles Dickens made that clear. With bogles running around it isn’t surprising that a few go missing now and then. Alfred and Birdie have their work cut out for them to find out what has happened to these children. Meanwhile, Mrs. Eames finds the whole bogle story suspect and asks to tag along on one of their jobs. Astonished to find bogles are real, she tries unsuccessfully to persuade Birdie to quit the bogling business. Birdie carries on and finds herself in a precarious situation when a doctor holds her against her will in an insane asylum until Alfred agrees to bring him a bogle to carry out his sinister plan.

I enjoy stories set in Victorian England. I’ve always considered it to be a mysterious and foreboding setting, which makes it perfect for monster stories. I love the vernacular and accent of the lower class British folks. Stories with multiple classes represented always have more depth and layers. In short, I liked this story, but I’m not sure how it will go over with kids. The cover doesn’t help sell it. In fact, it’s a deterrent, because it has an old look to it and American kids reject books with old looking covers. If they change the cover, I will buy it. ( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
I liked this book well enough, but in the end there wasn't really anything that grabbed me about it. ( )
  shadrachanki | Jun 8, 2018 |
This was one of the most delightful middle grade books I’ve read in a long time. I love fantasy books, especially those that deal in the real world and incorporate different mythologies, so How to Catch a Bogle drew me in right away. It has a Charles Dickens flair, focusing on Birdie, who was the daughter of a tosher and who is now an apprentice to Alfred the Bogler. Their first assignment brings them into contact with a proper lady, Edith Eames, who’s interested in creating a more scientific approach to catching bogles, especially since it’ll help keep Birdie out of harm’s way. Birdie hates it, but with the money Edith brings in, goes along with it, and finds herself learning some proper manners along with it.

I love Birdie so much — she’s such a strong, independent character who knows her own mind and is super smart. She’s completely confident in her abilities and completely trusts Alfred to keep her out of danger, which somehow made it tense for me as a reader when they were bogle hunting, because I kept expecting something horrible to happen. When they weren’t bogle hunting, though, Birdie’s interactions with the pickpockets and the boys who seem to be sweet on her is absolutely hilarious.

While How to Catch a Bogle gives a glimpse as to what life was like in Victorian England, it’s a book that’s based in pure, good adventure. There are tons of twists and turns, and plenty of creepiness with the bogle catching. There isn’t a dull moment in this story, and I cannot wait until I’m able to read the sequel. I definitely recommend this for those who like their fantasy books based in mythology. Middle graders and older readers alike will love Birdie’s strong spirit and the crazy adventures she has in this story.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Jan 9, 2018 |
Not sure how this got on my to-read list. ?I'd already marked Jinks' Evil Genius dnf. ?á

I was on the fence with this until about 100 pp in, when I looked at the jacket again and saw that it's a trilogy. ?áSorry, I've read enough Dickension juveniles, and enough monster adventures... this just didn't seem special. ?áI am interested in Mrs. Eames (and her family & situation) and her quest to understand these monsters from a scientific viewpoint, but not enough to read all the rest of the stories.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Fun story of a plucky girl apprenticed to a bogler, one who kills bogles. ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
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The front door was painted black, with a shiny brass knocker that made a satisfying noise when Alfred used it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544087089, Hardcover)

If ever a chill entered her soul, or the hope suddenly drained from her heart, she knew a bogle was to blame. Birdie McAdam, a ten-year-old orphan, is tougher than she looks. She's proud of her job as apprentice to Alfred the Bogler, a man who catches monsters for a living. Birdie lures the bogles out of their lairs with her sweet songs, and Alfred kills them before they kill her. On the mean streets of Victorian England, hunting bogles is actually less dangerous work than mudlarking for scraps along the vile river Thames. (See glossary!) Or so it seems—until the orphans of London start to disappear . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:19 -0400)

In 1870s London, a young orphan girl becomes the apprentice to a man who traps monsters for a living.

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