Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

This is the promising first book in an intriguing new series.  Miss Penelope Lumley, age fifteen, is both excited and nervous about her first job.  Having been raised in the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope is confident of her knowledge and skills but unsure of this first experience on her own.  The animal-loving girl soon finds that she is the perfect fit for her astonishing new role.  The Lady and Gentleman of the house have discovered three wild children on their property - possibly raised by wolves.  Penelope is expected to teach them the basics (how to dress, how to say their names, and so forth) in addition to the more complicated topics of reading, geography and Latin.  When she is told to have the children ready for a fancy Christmas Party, the young governess is more worried than ever.  And, when that party takes a disastrous turn, Penelope is left wondering if the gentleman of the house has the best interest of the children at heart.  On top of questions about his motives there is another mystery  - what is that mysterious howling and is there something living in the walls?  This excellent book is part Jungle Book, part Sherlock Holmes, part Mary Poppins, and a nice touch comedy.  Maryrose Wood has created a truly entertaining outing with this title and I am personally wishing number 2 were published yesterday!

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