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What-the-Dickens : The Story of a Rogue…
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What-the-Dickens : The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy (2007)

by Gregory Maguire (Author)

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1,268396,225 (3.23)46
Member:flying_monkeys
Title:What-the-Dickens : The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy
Authors:Gregory Maguire (Author)
Info:Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2008, c2007.
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:retelling, fairy tales, challenge into the forest, 2017

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What-The-Dickens by Gregory Maguire (2007)

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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
"The possibility of wishing strengthens the imagination to consider, at times, that things could improve. Could be different. They could. They might."

How did I end up here, again? Another fantastic premise; another letdown. At this point, I only have myself to blame.

A story within a story. The origin of tooth fairies. An orphan. A cat named McCavity. All of this should've been a home run. Unfortunately, the kids read like adults and the "fairies" read like workers after six straight 12-hour days at a 19th century factory.

For example, Dinah is a homeschooled ten-year-old. "Ten, and in some ways, a youngish ten, because her family lived remotely." Yet, here's how Dinah talked:

"Dinah didn't plan to say what she said next; it just came out. 'You were asleep, and you jumped so fast for the phone. You were hoping that phone was for you,' she observed. 'You want someone to care about what's happening to you, too--not just to us. Don't you.'"

Or, how about:

"'That's the grown-up you talking now,' said Dinah, as politely as she could. 'I don't want that part, all the shiny meaning polished up all obvious and sound-bitey, just so I can get it. Save that for Zeke. Me, I just want to find out what happened to the two skibbereen.'"

Keep in mind the Ormsbys have had no Internet. No TV. "They kept themselves apart--literally. They sequestered themselves... perched at the uphill end of the canyon... They were trying the experiment of living by gospel standards... The Ormsby family made its home a citadel against the alluring nearby world..."

Finally, there was the questionable allusions/ references. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about broadening kids' horizons, but One Hundred Years of Solitude, really? In a book that classifies itself as "Age 9 and Up"...

Maguire's stories pose, quite possibly, the greatest conundrum in my (reading) life. And, after I wrote my initial response to What-the-Dickens, I realized it'd morphed into something more than a review, so I decided to move that longer response to my blog.

2.5 stars
(One star for the idea, one star for the descriptions of McCavity, and half a star because I finished the book.) ( )
  flying_monkeys | Dec 27, 2017 |
I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Sep 20, 2017 |
I tried and finished, this was very child- like and not what I expected from the author of the fantastic "Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West". The was too much personification , I was lost for a moment there :/ ( )
  MrNattania | Sep 5, 2016 |
I tried and finished, this was very child- like and not what I expected from the author of the fantastic "Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West". The was too much personification , I was lost for a moment there :/ ( )
  JeffreyNattania | Aug 29, 2016 |
Love how he intermingles the story with quotes and names from pop culture and from the past. "She only wanted to live long and prosper" (Star Trek) The cat's name is McCavity (from the poem by T S Eliot. This make this book even more fun. As the storm rages outside, the children get a great story. Looking forward to the next page and the next. Many readers complain about the ending. What happened to the parents and such. But the book is not about the parents its about the kids in the storm with their cousin Gage telling the story. It's a great book, easy read, and lots of fun. Enjoy!! ( )
  patcat444 | Jun 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
"A winner for Maguire's fans of all ages."
added by Awesomeness1 | editKirkus Reviews
 
"This story contains a certain creepiness, an element that seems to thrill."
added by Awesomeness1 | editLos Angeles Times
 
"Gregory Maguire does for the dark and stormy night what he did for the witches in WICKED."
added by Awesomeness1 | editThe New York Times Book Review
 
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Epigraph
It is equal to living in a tragic land
To live in a tragic time.
- Wallace Stevens, "Dry Loaf"

We live in the most brightly illuminated of dark ages.
- Paul Heins, in conversation
Dedication
For the tempest-tossed: past, present, and to come
First words
By evening, when the winds rose yet again, the power began to stutter at half-strength, and the sirens to fail.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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AR 5.0, 9 Pts.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763629618, Hardcover)

From the author of the best-selling WICKED, a transporting tale-within-a-tale about the strange world of skibbereen — aka tooth fairies — and the universal need to believe.

A terrible storm is raging, and ten-year-old Dinah is huddled by candlelight with her brother, sister, and cousin Gage, who is telling a very unusual tale. It’s the story of What-the-Dickens, a newly hatched orphan creature who finds he has an attraction to teeth, a crush on a cat named McCavity, and a penchant for getting into trouble. One day he happens upon a feisty girl skibberee who is working as an Agent of Change — trading coins for teeth — and learns that there is a dutiful tribe of skibbereen (call them tooth fairies) to which he hopes to belong. As his tale of discovery unfolds, however, both What-the- Dickens and Dinah come to see that the world is both richer and less sure than they ever imagined.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:19 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

As a terrible storm rages, ten-year-old Dinah and her brother and sister listen to their cousin Gage's tale of a newly-hatched, orphaned, skibberee, or tooth fairy, called What-the-Dickens, who hopes to find a home among the skibbereen tribe, if only he can stay out of trouble.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Average: (3.23)
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Candlewick Press

3 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763629618, 0763641472, 0763643076

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