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The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

The Mysterious Howling (2009)

by Maryrose Wood

Other authors: Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1529810,733 (3.92)181
  1. 60
    The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: Both books play with the idea of the "old-fashioned" children's story and are a lot of fun.
  2. 60
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (jfoster_sf)
  3. 60
    The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (kaledrina)
  4. 00
    A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama by Laura Amy Schlitz (HollyMS)
  5. 00
    Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Both are middle grade historical fiction set during the Victorian period featuring young girls who go to work in a mysterious old house :] Both Frost Hollow Hall and The Mysterious Howling have obviously been influenced by Victorian gothics.
  6. 00
    The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell (HollyMS)
  7. 00
    The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: Both are modern children's historical fiction that are heavily influenced by 19th century gothic literature.
  8. 00
    Horton Halfpott, or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor, or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger (kaledrina)
  9. 00
    The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone (kaledrina)
  10. 14
    Room by Emma Donoghue (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: These books are completely different in style; The Mysterious Howling is a lighthearted children's book while Room is more serious and intended for adults. But if you enjoy the theme of a child with an unusual background being reintegrated into society, you may appreciate both of these books.… (more)

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» See also 181 mentions

English (96)  German (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
Narrator Review:
Without a doubt, Katherine Kellgren is my favorite new narrator. This book came to life because of her narration! She has fantastic voices for each character, the best of which in my opinion is Miss Penelope Lumley herself. Even her male voices are pretty spot on! She reads at a very pleasant pace, and makes sure to emphasize things that are "proper" in the book. If I had read this rather than listened to it, I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. That's not to say the story isn't amazing, but hearing Kellgren howl, giggle and act proper was truly my favorite part of this book. If you can get your hands on the Audio CD, do it!

Audio Book Rating: 5/5 - I highly recommend listening to this audio book!


Book Review:
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place is by far the most fun middle grade series that I've started so far! Yes, I made sure it was indeed a series. I'm so smitten that if it wasn't I might have thrown a tantrum. The Mysterious Howling is the first book in the series, and it sets up quite a delightful set of characters and situations. More than anything I loved how original this story was. I digress though, let's get back to sharing with you why you need to read this book.

First of all the premise of the story is fantastic. Three orphans from the woods, apparently raised by wolves, are brought to Ashton Place. The only problem? They need looking after of course! Enter Miss Penelope Lumley, one of the sweetest characters I've met in a long time with a heart that is so huge it might literally explode. She finds a fondness for the children, despite their wolfish ways, and vows to treat them as any other charges she might have had. What ensues is a funny and rollicking story, complete with quite a few twists and turns along the way!

Those of you out there who find it necessary to love your characters will find it hard to ignore Miss Penelope Lumley and her adorable charges. Ever the professional lady, Penelope spends the book musing on the wise words of her mentor, Miss Agatha Swanburne. As for the young ones, Cassiopeia, Alexander and Beowulf are massive balls of sweet energy! From the moment they enter the scene, there is fun to be had. Then there is Lady Constance, who I must say I rather disliked but I think we are meant to, and Sir Ashton who I wanted to kick. Hard. Yes, that about rounds it out! All of them are different, each one has their own fantastic personality, and I found it hard not to feel a fondness for each of them in turn.

By far, my favorite part of this story was the third person view, that mostly focused on Penelope's thoughts. Watching her ponder over what to do next, scheme at how to help the children, and even let her thoughts wander, was so fantastic. If there was ever a character that I would blindly follow into many books beyond the first, it would be her. As I mentioned above, if you can get your hands on the audio book do it! Katherine Kellgren creates a voice for Penelope that made me smile again and again.

Long story short, this is one that you need to try! If you enjoy Victorian era mysteries, or even just crave a good middle grade novel, this one is for you. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling has snuggled its way into my heart, and I for one can not wait to dive into the next installment.
( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Penelope is the new governess for three children who have come to the home of Frederick Ashton and Lady Constance under mysterious circumstances. Mr. Ashton apparently found the children in the woods, and decided to keep them. Newlywed Constance is not happy with the prospect of unruly children living in her home. When Penelope finally meets the children, they are naked in the barn uttering only wolf-like noises. Penelope doesn't skip a beat in getting the children cleaned up and off to the nursery. She begins the slow work of teaching them to be civilized children.

When Constance announces that there will be a Christmas Party and Frederick wants the children to attend, Penelope must work twice as hard to get the children ready. When the big day arrives, the children are well-behaved, but it's clear that the guests are expecting wild children. They soon get what they want when the children's old nature is provoked to the surface by obvious attempts at sabotage, and chaos ensues. Instead of being fired, Penelope is asked to stay and continue teaching the children.

There's a bit of sarcasm from the narrator, which I always find entertaining in children's books. The story itself is ok. I would have liked to have learned more about the children, but since their communication skills are weak, they remain mostly in the background, uttering words that are half language/half wolf sound. I couldn't really get a good sense of their level of wildness. Mr. Frederick is the big mystery character. We aren't sure why he is so interested in the children and what his intentions with them are. There is a suggestion that they are wanted for hunting practice.

The ending isn't resolved, but it's not a cliffhanger type book that leaves you mad. It's just kind of like turning the volume all the way down and then back up again for the next book. If you are curious about whether the children will ever lose their wild ways, then you will be enticed to read the next book. ( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
Really fun kid's gothic novel, channeling Lemony Snicket, Joan Aiken, and the Bronte sisters. You know the expression, "those kids behave like they were raised by wolves?" These kids were. John Klassen's perfect illustrations brought this to a solid 4 stars for me. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Fun to read, appeal to fans of Series of Unfortunate Events.
  JanetNoRules | Sep 16, 2018 |
Miss Penelope Lumley, recent graduate and shining star of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, travels to Ashton Place for a governess position, but her interview with young Lady Constance is very strange; Constance won't speak of the children at all. Penelope finds they have been living in a barn after being discovered in the woods; Lord Fredrick Ashton insists "finders keepers" and wants to call them Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia.

Penelope does not run screaming, but calmly uses Agatha Swinburne's wise words, her own experience helping a kind veterinarian, and her favorite books (about Rainbow the pony, and poetry in translation) to tame her new charges. This she does largely successfully, but there are more puzzling mysteries still: where did the children come from (for that matter, where did Penelope herself come from? Miss Charlotte Mortimer would never say), why does Lord Ashton want them, and who on earth set a squirrel loose at the Ashton Place Christmas party?

More questions are raised than answered in this series opener, which is a little disappointing but certainly leaves the reader wanting more. Klassen's illustrations are perfect for the tone of the story; Penelope and, indeed, the narrator are both quite witty.

See also: A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Children of Green Knowe, The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, The Ruby in the Smoke, Jane Eyre


Then, since Penelope knew the best way to teach anybody anything was by setting a good example, she lay down in the hay and closed her eyes. (56)

She thought of her pupils as unusual, not unteachable. (78)

The truth is that one cannot go through life without being annoyed by other people, and this was just as true in Miss Penelope Lumley's day as it is in our own. Annoyance is a fact of life; one ought not to lose one's grip because of it... (107)

Penelope...was lost in her own thoughts...about how the mystery of not knowing what one's future held paled next to the mystery of not knowing all that one's past already contained. (125)

"Anyway, I suppose this is what is meant by 'growing up.'"
"Pardon me, my lady - what is?"
"Finding out the difference between what one expected one's life would be like and how things really are." (Lady Constance and Penelope, 165) ( )
  JennyArch | Sep 12, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maryrose Woodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Klassen, JonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoy, SarahDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To put it in a nutshell: Plinkst was nothing like Ashton Place.
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Book description
Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball. [retrieved from www.loc.gov (Library of Congress) 8/2/2012]
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Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball.… (more)

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