Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New Release: The Wonderling (and RIPXII 3)

Today is the release date of a very unique, heartstring-tugging middle-grade fantasy tale, The Wonderling by Mira Bartók. I usually write my own summary but this one from Candlewick is just perfect --
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny.
I got entirely lost in the richness of this story. It was perilous and sweet at the same time and I was never quite sure if things would come right in the end. Arthur was so pure and innocent, Trinket so brave and bold -- each time they were in danger, my heart sat in my throat until they got through. My absolute favorite thing about this story though was that there were characters who were not what you expected them to be. More than one creature that seemed scary or dishonest turned out to be helpful or friendly, a perfect modern lesson to reinforce the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover". (Although, take a look at this cover! Anyone could tell that this book would be wonderful, right?)

Yearning for family and music,


  1. THAT COVER! You are right, nobody could look at this cover and not expect a wonderful book. It's marvelous, and I must read the book inside it! (Under it?)