Saturday, May 10, 2014

MMGM: The Interrupted Tale (Incorrigle Children of Ashton Place)


There are some series that I  have waited for with bated breath: THE PENDERWICKS,  THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, LEMONY SNICKET.

My latest series obsession: THE INCORRIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE. I recently got my hands on the fourth in the series: The Interrupted Tale.


If you have not had a taste of this marvelous series, it is about the delightful Miss Lumley, governess to three children who’ve been raised by wolves. But it’s so much more than that.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (or CAKE) at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Optoomuchstic as ever, Penelope hopes to give her CAKE talk, see some old friends, and show off the Incorrigible children to Miss Mortimer, but instead she finds her beloved school in an uproar.

And when Penelope is asked by the Swanburne Academy board of trustees to demonstrate the academic progress of her three wolfish students so the board can judge the true worth of a Swanburne education, the future of her alma mater—and of her job as governess to the Incorrigibles—hangs in the balance.

Some of my favorite things about this book (and the series):

-Lots of wordplay and literary allusions (everything from Greek orators to Eureka! to Shakespeare). In Interrupted Tale, the word cake is used to great effect.

-An omniscient narrator like Lemony Snicket or Cuthbert Soup (A WHOLE NOTHER STORY) whose hilarious asides are just as much fun as the actual story. In Interrupted Tale, everything from ferns to filibusters to dancing chickens and the Imperial Ballet are discussed.

-A plucky heroine, who loves to read the Giddyup Rainbow series and teaches her charges about Edgar Allen Poe--what's not to love?

-Incredibly entertaining villains

-The solution of each mystery only leads to another--and each riddle is connected. (I just haven't figured out how yet!)
-If you loved Jane Eyre or Lemony Snicket or The Mysterious Benedict Society, you will love this book.

For writers: One of the things I find most amazing about THE INCORRIBLE CHILDREN, is that the protagonist is 15 going on 16. (She turns 16 in Interrupted Tale.) Yet the story is accessible to middle grade readers. I think it’s the writing style and how the story is told. The mild bit of romance is also not like you’d find in YA, more of a friendship that’s blossoming into more.

I just learned there’s only one more book coming out. I will be very sad when this series ends.
Two other MMGMers blogged about the first in the series recently: Suzanne Warr and Joanne Fritz.
What amazing middle grades have you read lately?

To check out more Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.

17 comments:

  1. Another series for my list. Thanks for featuring. This one sounds perfect for a future summer day. I might be wishing a bit as there are six inches of snow on the ground this morning.

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    1. Six inches of snow! That would have me looking forward to summer too--and I think this would be perfect for summer--with its whimsy and humor.

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  2. I need to get a copy of the final book. This isn't a hugely popular book in my library, but does well enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it and secretly want to live in this particular book!

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    1. I wonder if the reason they're not hugely popular is the age of the protagonist, although I think a lot of kids (including my own) love a narrator who makes funny asides. Thanks for stopping by, Ms. Yingling!

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  3. I'm reading ROMEO BLUE, a follow-up to THE ROMEO AND JULIET CODE. It's wonderful, as was the first. Historical but in a different take than most historicals. As for this series you mention, I haven't read any...

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    1. Ooh, I hadn't heard of Romeo Blue, but it sounds so good and something I'd like. Thanks for the rec, Barbara!

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  4. The wholesome plot that will appeal to both YA and MG, the mystery - make me think of the Mandie Mystery Series by Lois Gladys Leppard that I read with my girls each evening. They still mention them as favorites. I'll bet they would have loved the children of Ashton Place as well. Thanks for the review.

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    1. You're welcome, Ruth! The Mandie series looks interesting--I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for mentioning it!

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  5. I think it about time I have read this series! And, happily, I can read one right after the other. Recent enjoyable's were NIGHT GARDENER, NINJA LIRBARIANS, FORBIDDEN LIBRARY...

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    1. I have heard great things about Night Gardener and Ninja Librarians, but hadn't heard of Forbidden Library. I love anything with literary allusions--thanks for the recs!

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  6. I haven't read any of these. But after your description I think I'd better give one a try!

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    1. They're a lot of fun--and addictive. Enjoy!

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  7. I had never heard of this series--thanks for highlighting!

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    1. You're welcome--hope you enjoy them! :)

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  8. I appreciate this sneak peak at what's coming in the series, and also (terribly selfish, I know) that the last is coming out soon so I won't have long to wait after reading the first four. I'm not good at delayed gratification in my books! lol

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    1. That's great that you don't have to wait--you'll probably remember more of the mystery from book to book than I do. I was late to discover Harry Potter and Hunger Games, so I read through those series all at once, which was a lot of fun.

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  9. Cool! I love all the acronyms the author uses. And thanks for the mention. I just finished reading the third book in the series and I know my library has this one too. Can't wait!

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