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The Mysterious Howling[INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN BK01 MYS][Hardcover] (edition 2010)

by MaryroseWood (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0979810,922 (3.91)180
Title:The Mysterious Howling[INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN BK01 MYS][Hardcover]
Authors:MaryroseWood (Author)
Info:Balzer&Bray/Harperteen (2010)
Collections:Your library
Tags:middle grade

Work details

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

  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 180 mentions

English (95)  German (1)  All languages (96)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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 |
3.5-3.75 ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
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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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