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The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson
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The Wikkeling (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Steven Arntson (Author)

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817270,825 (3.62)5
Henrietta and her pals Gary and Rose all have headaches with an unknown cause and experience other strange incidents--including the appearance of a threatening creature called the Wikkeling--and are hopeful that an ancient bestiary can help solve these mysteries.
Member:mcswiger
Title:The Wikkeling
Authors:Steven Arntson (Author)
Info:Running Press (2011), 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
children's fantasy with sci-fi elements (time travel, futuristic technology, computers possessed by mysterious entities). Original and very spooky. MUCH scarier than Coraline was, would definitely recommend to kids who want more horror in their books. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
4.5 stars!
Oh my goodness! I just randomly grabbed this book off the shelf at the library. I had NO idea what a treat I was in for.

The cover looks so old school, which I thought maybe would make readers skip over it, but after reading it- I couldn't imagine a better cover!


I couldn't describe this book any better than how James Dashner did:

"A truly original piece of work. Swinging from funny to creepy to intriguing, it kept me enthralled throughout."

Seriously though! This book had me laughing out loud one minute and then shivering in fear the next. It also had a wonderful middle section of beautifully illustrated creatures. It was so original. It truly fascinated me!

If you like Dr Who or Neil Gaiman (specifically Coraline) you need to read this! ( )
  mollypitchermary | Oct 11, 2017 |
Life is carefully programmed and supervised, the constantly gridlocked traffic belches flowery fumes and everything is smooth and moves without disruption. Students practice for their Competency Exams on a daily basis, and are completely protected from danger. Henrietta is at the bottom of her competative class, and is considered unlikeable by all her classmates. Her headaches also make her stand out, which only makes her more miserable. But then one night, Henrietta finds a wounded cat in her attic (completely forbidden and against the rules and dangerous!), and then Henrietta meets Gary and Rose, who also have headaches, and who also see the shadowy figure following them around. Together they might just solve the mystery of the figure, their headaches, and what a cat really is.

This is a brilliant book. Arntson weaves a cautionary tale about the dangers of being completely protected, and the hazards of being in a totally homogenized and automatic society into a gripping story about three children who learn to trust each other, and the wild housecat which they name Mister Lady. There are some disturbing bits, and I wouldn’t recommend it for kids under twelve or thirteen, but I would recommend it to anybody who has felt out of step with the world around them, and definitely to anyone who loves books.

“Henrietta is the main character of this story. This whole book will be about her – and it’s worth mentioning at the outset a few things that aren’t going to happen to her.

She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle.

She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she’s a good girl inside.

She will not find out that she’s actually a princess, and she won’t become happy forever when a prince marries her.

Those books are out there, and your school librarian can help you find one. This isn’t it.” ( )
  SeaMystery | Jun 12, 2012 |
I believe the Wikkeling is one of those books that comes once in a while that blows your mind away. I am looking forward to Steven Arntson's future work, especially if it is a continuation of this story. The story paints a picture that is both realistic and yet very fantasy-oriented.

According to Arntson:
"Henrietta is the main character of this story. This whole book will be about her--and it is worth mentioning at the outset a few things that aren't going to happen to her.

She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle.

She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she's a good girl inside.

She will not find out that she's actually a princess, and she won't becomes happy forever when a prince marries her.

Those books are out there, and your school librarian can help you find one. This isn't it."

Henrietta lives in an old house. Her house, unlike the other houses in her neighborhood (and the majority of the Addition) is not made out of plastic but is more of the type of house we live in. The world of the Addition is basically a plastic one, where child safety is a main priority (and actually more harmful than beneficial in some ways). Everything is done to prevent harm in any situation (even the rare worst-case ones).

Through the course of one day, Henrietta meets two children who are destined to be her best friends. They all share the fact that they live(d) in old homes and suffer headaches. Each child has a secret and confide in each other. They create a little world for themselves and learn about the world in ways that most wouldn't be able to.

I loved the book from front to back. The cover was simple but durable. I actually want to track down the fonts used. I love the olden wallpaper spreads used throughout the book. The silhouettes were different because you never really see the faces of the characters, but did add a certain quality to the book that made it unique. I loved the bestiary. The pictures and spreads were drawn and arranged to look like a forgotten notebook. I loved the colors and the unique animals.

I would definitely say that this book should be for older children to read (234 pages long). However, I really don't think that it's a scary story (though some say the silhouettes are creepy). I also recommend it for those who are older. It is a fascinating story and one can learn a lot of lessons from it. {In fact, if you visit Steven Arntson's website, he has a teacher's guide for the book.} It is a mix of the Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black as well as the Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch.

So go out and read it.... ( )
  deepikasd | Sep 14, 2011 |
The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson
Henrietta lives in an old house in the new Addition. All the other houses are made of plastic and are easily sanitized but her house is old and her parents blame her headaches on the house. She is friendless and doesn't fit in at school. Her life improves when she finds friends, Gary, the son of her teacher, and Rose who is younger. All of them get headaches and they discover that the headaches are caused by a frightening figure with long waxy fingers which only they can see. Henrietta also discovers that her attic is magic, it contains a wild housecat and a view of the past before the city became a place choked with traffic, advertisements, and deodorizer and education became a series of rote computer lessons.
This is an interesting book about a future that is very safe and very boring. Henrietta and her friends begin to discover the past and learn about books and animals and a very different world. The book contains a, lovely, illustrated Bestiary of magical creatures and also silhouette pictures which I enjoyed. Recommended for children Gr. 4-6.
  prkcs | Sep 13, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Poor kitty,

poor kitty!

The Wikkeling chased you

From city to country

And back again, too.

It won't rest. It won't weary.

It will kill you, poor kitty,

And then all those like you,

And all those you knew.

Jump up to my attic

Poor kitty, and pause-

Rest here. Recover,

And sharpen your claws.

I'll give you refuge

For I understand

What it is to be hunted,

Unwelcome, unwanted,

Pursued and tormented

And fainting from fear

Every night,

Every night,

Every night of the year.

-Anonymous, from Aristotle Alcott's Riddles and Rhymes of Olden Times
Dedication
For my parents, Helen & Jerry
First words
Prologue:

    The Old City lies on a long, low hill. It is dangerous and dilapidated. The buildings are crumbling, moss grows in the streets, and garbage festers in the gutters. There are rumors that people live here secretly, breaking into abandoned apartments and living wretched, illegal lives.

    Adjoining the Old City is the Addition, which lies on a vast, level plain. The Addition sparkles into the haze, its streets as straight as grocery store aisles, its buildings as shiny as pop cans.
Chapter 1 - "Efficient Education":

    "Sensible students succeed splendidly!" said Ms. Span, a primly dressed teacher sitting behind a computer at the front of the class, her thick, black eyebrows arching over the top of her reading glasses.
Quotations
Henrietta is the main character of this story.  This whole book will be about her -- and it's worth mentioning at the outset a few things that aren't going to happen to her.
    She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle.
    She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she's a good girl inside.
    She will not find out that she's actually a princess, and she won't become happy forever when a prince marries her.
    Those books are out there, and your school librarian can help you find one.  This isn't it.

"Efficient Education", p.15
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Henrietta and her pals Gary and Rose all have headaches with an unknown cause and experience other strange incidents--including the appearance of a threatening creature called the Wikkeling--and are hopeful that an ancient bestiary can help solve these mysteries.

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Book description
Haiku summary
the book Wickelling
is set in the near future
there is a monster
(Tom15rose3)

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