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The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

The Willoughbys (2008)

by Lois Lowry

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,293959,208 (3.8)77
  1. 20
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (jbarry, CurrerBell)
    jbarry: old-timey fun
  2. 20
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (avatiakh)
    avatiakh: Included in The Willoughbys bibliography of books with appealing orphans, stingy relatives, winsome children, generous benefactors etc etc
  3. 20
    The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: Both books play with the idea of the "old-fashioned" children's story and are a lot of fun.
  4. 20
    Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (avatiakh)
    avatiakh: Included in The Willoughbys bibliography of books with appealing orphans, stingy relatives, winsome children, generous benefactors etc etc
  5. 00
    The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter (foggidawn)
  6. 00
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (avatiakh)
    avatiakh: Included in The Willoughbys bibliography of books with appealing orphans, stingy relatives, winsome children, generous benefactors etc etc
  7. 00
    Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori (Rubbah)
    Rubbah: gothic fun for children
  8. 00
    A House Called Awful End by Philip Ardagh (Rubbah)
  9. 01
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (jbarry)
    jbarry: clever children abound

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» See also 77 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
A fun, tongue in cheek joke on "old fashioned" novels and children -- think The Boxcar Children, Bobbsey Twins, E. Nesbit, with a dash of Lemony Snicket thrown in. I had a great time reading it. However, I suspect that a typical ten year old, the intended audience, won't get this book at all, unless they are remarkably well read on old children's books. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
The most fun I've had in a while. A completely dysfunctional group of people who are somehow also completely charming. All the references the characters make comparing themselves to people in "old fashioned" stories were hilarious. Absolutely a must read. It's 157 pages. You can read it in a day. Or less. Just do it.

Warning - if - like me - you are a Lois Lowry fan - this is a departure - don't be afraid. It's OK. ( )
  nittnut | Sep 5, 2018 |
The story of the Willoubhy children, an old-fashioned sort of children. They have ghastly parents and whould rather be orphans like in the books. One day the decide that they really have had enough and leave a pamphlet for Perilous vacations out for their parents to find in the hope their parents will go and not come back. This unusual but rather old-fashioned tale has a happy ending with some twists and turns along the way.
  Jahnavee | May 5, 2018 |
I hovered between a 3 and a 4 on this book. On the one hand, I appreciated that it wasn't rainbows and butterflies, but I had a hard time getting into the narrative. I should have finished a book of this length in less than half the time I did. However, when I read in the last few pages of the book that Tim was putting together a model airplane and "being very careful not to sniff the glue," I decided on a 4-star rating. The humor in this book carries it (although some of it might go over the heads of the juvenile audience). ( )
  JodiLEK | Mar 31, 2018 |
Weird. The kind of weird that causes you to HAVE to finish it! ( )
  mpettit7974 | Dec 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lowry, Loisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bender, Ruthsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, ArteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerline, FrancisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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fur meine deutschen Madchen, Nadine und Annika
First words
Once upon a time there was a family named Willoughby: an old-fashioned type of family, with four children.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Four annoying children work hard at becoming orphaned by their odious parents. Eventually, the parents abandon them to a capable nanny, and finally the children find their Happily Ever After.
I didn't look at the copyright date before starting the text, something I usually do. I was surprised to find the book was published so recently - it uses many themes and cliches of "classic" or "old fashioned" children's literature. There was far more snarking and silliness than I'd expected as well - not as much snarking and gloom-&-doom, perhaps, as in the Lemony Snicket books, but certainly enough to evoke a comparison to Roald Dahl here and there. This book definitely plays more to the parody though.
I'd be careful to which class or individuals I'd assign this book. This is a great book for fluent readers and good decoders of sarcasm and silliness. However, I think this could be a disastrous assignment for a less-fluent reader or a reader with more difficulty decoding for meaning, be it etymological or emotional.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618979743, Hardcover)

Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good oldfashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children's literature, the four Willoughby children set about to become "deserving orphans" after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Average: (3.8)
1 6
1.5 3
2 17
2.5 5
3 76
3.5 30
4 139
4.5 17
5 75

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