Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: “They must have been raised by wolves.” The Incorrigible children actually were. Discovered in the forests of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a 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 eliminate their canine tendencies.But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Penelope is no stranger to mystery, as her own origins are also cloaked in secrecy. But as Agatha Swanburne herself once said, “Things may happen for a reason, but that doesn’t mean we know what the reason is—at least, not yet.
©2010 Maryrose Wood (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
This book, like all really great children's literature, is enjoyable for adults as well as children. Its a somewhat gothic, and very intelligently funny, mystery. I didn't mind too much that it was only the first installment of the story, but I am on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next!
Also, Katherine Kellgren's reading once again added an extra layer of fabulousness to a great story. She does accents excellently, and portrays the full range of emotions of the characters with great energy & subtlety. This was much more than worth the cost of a credit.
I had planned to write to encourage any adult who likes Joan Aiken, E.Nesbit, Monty Python (the videos), & T.Pratchett to try this superior series. It's not particularly like any of their works - well maybe Aiken's "Serial Garden" - but plays to the same part of the brain through its overall sense of the absurd and superior wordplay. Not sure how it would plan with most YA readers, but seems great for the 7-12 year old set - and their parents - since it works extremely well at both levels.
I'm afraid to give any details because almost anything I would say would be a spoiler - just trust me that by piling hackneyed formula upon formula, and throwing into this in a set of totally recognizable stereotypical characters, and a great deal of slowly unfolding - and growing as it unfolds - mystery, the author creates an amazing and extremely amusing jumble. The reader is perfect - ordinarily I prefer deeper-voiced narrators, but I can't imagine this book without her rendition of the heroine's thought processes and the wonderful "voices" of the children themselves. Can't wait for the next one in the series!
My children are 7 and 9 (boy and girl) - we all enjoyed listening to this audio book, which we found hilarous at times. The narration was brilliant. We have bought the second book with great expectation. Highly recommended.
This book is not just for children! I am in my late-twenties, and I am hooked on this series. Penelope Lumley is such a likeable protagonist, and the Incorrigible children are such interesting characters. I highly recommend this series.
The story is cute, the protagonists delightfully portrayed, and the dilemma enticing.
It was only to be expected, considering the lead up to it, but satisfying nonetheless.
Ms. Kellgren was absolutely perfect to narrate this story. She caught the characters so well, and managed to convey the humor with just the right degree of understatement.
I certainly giggled a good deal!
For those who love the Lemony Snicket "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books, this is a wonderful series to read--similar humor and unbelievably events over which to suspend one's credulity. Delightful!
My family listened to this on a recent road trip (Mom, Dad, 11 y.o. boy and 9 y.o. girl). Mom, Dad and daughter liked it, but son thought it was too old-fashioned. The accent of the reader was a little bit hard for the kids to understand over the car noise, but was much easier for them when we finished the last hour listening at home.
This was a cute story and a good start to a series. I didn't care for some of the voices the narrator used, specifically the one she used for Lady Constance. I will likely read the other two rather than listen.
Funny. Good story.
Lemony Snicket, although these events are not quite as unfortunate but I found them much more enjoyable.
Didn't read the book, but I loved Ms Kellgren's performance.
No particular moment. I got caught up in the story when the children were introduced and found it to be a very enjoyable, laugh out loud good story.
This was not worth the time I spent trying to listen to it. The story was awful in itself but add the narrator and it was an awful listen. I do not recommend it.
Mens Sana In Corpore Sano
The story asides are ponderous and the little cleverness is cloying.
Sure, but in book form. That way I can skip over the sound effects.
Less screeching, less urgency. All the voices are squawking, nasal, and braying. It would be fine if it made sense for the characters, but Kellgren uses the same voices for many of her other book performances. The voices of the children in the story don't sound like children, they sound like parrots on helium. It's headache inducing.
Better to read this one.
"Engaging and funny story for the family"
My eight year old daughter and I were enormously entertained listening to this on a long road trip.
Funny with an inspiring brave, up-for-everything main child character. Addictive language (which we're still using).
Very julie Andrews-esque voice when being narrator (my daughter and I enjoyed this but it irritated my husband). She does fabulous voices for all the characters, especially the wolfishness of the children.
The occasional americanisms (gotten, sidewalk) jarred a little in a story set in a past Britain but this a very minor niggle for a cracking story that was brilliantly performed.
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