Monday, March 26, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Incorrigibles

To find out more about Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, click here.
Series: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Title: The Mysterious Howling
Author: Maryrose Wood (link)
Genre: Period
Pub Date: February 2010

Synopsis: Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners in time for the holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

First Line: It was not Miss Penelope Lumley's first journey on a train, but it was her first one alone.

You haven't run into a character quite like Penelope Lumley. Despite her youth, Penelope's training at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females gives her the confidence to take on anything. Even the task of caring for kids who were literally raised by wolves. Kids will love the silly humor that runs amok when faced with proper Victorian etiquette, and how Penelope manages to bring out the human side of her charges.

Setting the Stage: I once saw Maryrose Wood speak at a reading, and she talked about how her background in theater influenced her writing. After reading this book, I could definitely recognize the connection. The movement, dialogue and setting almost work like stage direction. These elements enhance the humor and tension in the book, making scenes come to life in a vivid way.

Why You'll Love Penelope: When life gives her lemons, Penelope Lumley manages to juggle, bowl, hide, bounce, and finally squeeze them into fresh lemonade. This practical nanny doesn't have Mary Poppins' magic. Instead, she has wit, a cool head, and an armory full of cheesy sayings from her school's founder, Agatha Swanburne, that stoke her bravery.

You can always find more MMGM love here: 
  • Shannon Whitney Messenger's blog
  • Jennifer Rumberger's blog
  • Joanne Fritz's blog
  • Danika Dinsmore's blog
  • Shannon O'Donnell's blog 
  • Natalie Aguirre's blog
  • Brooke Favero's blog
  • Barbara Watson's blog
  • Anita Laydon Miller's blog
  • Michael G-G's blog
  • Pam Torres's blog
  • Akoss-Nye Louwon's blog
  • Gabrielle Prendergast's blog
  • Kelly Polark's blog 
  • Isaiah J Campbell's blog
  • Kim Aippersbach's blog 
  • Laurisa White Reyes' blog


  1. Hey Gina! I'm not on your list. :) (Fellow MMGM poster)

    This book sounds so interesting. The cover illustration reminds me of Edward Gorey. Have you heard of him?

  2. Thanks for the review, Gina. Just added this one to my list. :)

  3. I remember that reading! She did an excellent job. I really need to pick up a copy of this book. :)

  4. This series has done well with my many Lemony Snicket addicts. I am looking forward to seeing the third one.

  5. So awesome you got to meet the author. Thanks for sharing about this. I'll have to check it out.

  6. I know there are two of these (so far) and I want to read BOTH! They sound completely unique.

  7. I love Penelope already just from reading your reasons! I still have this book sitting in one of my many TBR stacks. Someday soon I'm determined to read it.

  8. I love, love, love Penelope, and I can't wait to read the third book (which is coming out soon, I think, if it isn't out already.) Interesting to know that Maryrose Wood has a theatre background.

  9. This book has been on my reading list for a while now. Will have to look for it next time I'm at the library. Thanks!

  10. Now I really REALLY want to meet Penelope. Off to goodreads I go so I don't forget to add it.