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The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones

The Ogre Downstairs (original 1974; edition 2003)

by Diana Wynne Jones

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6141915,860 (3.97)35
Title:The Ogre Downstairs
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Harpercollins Childs (2003), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:children's fiction, fantasy, magic, stepfamilies, England

Work details

The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones (1974)

  1. 11
    Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Another great children's book by Diana Wynne Jones featuring magic, a dysfunctional family and some great humour
  2. 01
    The Lemonade Trick by Scott Corbett (infiniteletters)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A brilliant story about kids adjusting in a blended family; a magical chemistry set creates a lot of adventure and reconciles the kids. One of DWJ's best. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 18, 2017 |
Not my favorite Diana Wynne Jones book, but it was still a solid tale about families and magic. I guess it was just...sort of small? And everything was a little random? ( )
  Stebahnree | Mar 13, 2016 |
Not my favorite Diana Wynne Jones book, but it was still a solid tale about families and magic. I guess it was just...sort of small? And everything was a little random? ( )
  Stebahnree | Mar 13, 2016 |
The story of a gaggle of youngsters who can't stand their overbearing step-father and new step-brothers. They're given a chemistry set to bribe them into good behavior, but quickly discover that it can actually be used to make magic potions. The potions get them into ever more convoluted schemes and increasing amounts of trouble, until their dysfunctional household finally reaches a crisis point.

This is a really charming story, filled with little touches of 1970s Britain that I found quaint and sweet. Each of the children has a distinct and memorable personality, and the uses to which they put their magic are both imaginative and relatable (who wouldn't make their dolls come to life?). I was truthfully a bit troubled by how easily the step-father's constant yelling and intermittent hitting were explained away, but I think this is a generational divide rather than a narrative misstep. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The Ogre Downstairs didn't captivate me like the Chrestimanci books did. The middle section with the living inanimates (especially the toffy) drags on and on. I really had to force myself through the taffy chapters. While I'm glad to see the Ogre revealed as a good egg the ending seems tacked on. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 25, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heslop, MaggieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newbold, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Richard, who thought of Indigo Rubber,
and Mickey, who helped with the chemicals
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Caspar came into the hall one afternoon with a bag of books on one shoulder and a bag of football clothes on the other and saw his brother carrying a large parcel.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064473503, Paperback)

Chemical Warfare?

Casper, Johnny, and Gwinny are sure they'll never be happy again when their mother marries Jack, who is as mean as an ogre. To make matters worse, two obnoxious stepbrothers, Malcolm and Douglas, move in as well. No one -- except the parents -- seems happy. But when Jack gives a chemistry set to each group of kids, bigger problems take over. These are, it turns out, not your average chemicals. In one hilarious experiment after another, the kids discover they can fly, switch bodies with one another, and even disappear. If only they could figure out how to undo all of this! Are one combustible stepfamily and two explosive chemistry sets a formula for disaster?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:46 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When a disagreeable man with two boys marries a widow with three children, family adjustments are complicated by two magic chemistry sets which cause strange things to happen around the house.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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