The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Book I: The Mysterious Howling
Publication Date: March 2010
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Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Maryrose Wood is the author of The Mysterious Howling and The Hidden Gallery, the first two books in this continuing series about the Incorrigible children and their governess. These books may be considered works of fiction, which is to say the true bits and the untrue bits are so thoroughly mixed together that no one should be able to tell the difference. This process of fabrication is fully permitted under the terms of the author's Poetic License, which is one of her most prized possessions.
Maryrose's other qualifications for writing these tales include a scandalous stint as a professional thespian, many years as a private governess to two curious and occasionally rambunctious pupils, and whatever literary insights she may have gleaned from living in close proximity to a clever but disobedient dog.
It’s the best beginning since The Bad Beginning (1999) [by Lemony Snicket] and will leave readers howling for the next episode.
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“How hearty and delicious...Smartly written with a middle-grade audience in mind, this is both fun and funny and sprinkled with dollops of wisdom (thank you, Agatha Swanburne). How will it all turn out? Appetites whetted.”
-Booklist (starred review)
With a Snicketesque affect, Wood’s narrative propels the drama…pervasive humor and unanswered questions should have readers begging for more.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire. Humorous antics and a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep children turning pages and clamoring for the next volume, while more sophisticated readers will take away much more. Frequent plate-sized illustrations add wit and period flair.
-School Library Journal (starred review)
Every newspaper and website in America is going to tell you that The Mysterious Howling will leave you HOWLING FOR MORE! So I’m not going to say that. But it’s really good.
-Adam Rex, author of The True Meaning of Smekday