The Wonderling

The Wonderling

Book - 2017
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In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartók tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!

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. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts :, Candlewick Press,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780763691219
Branch Call Number: J FIC Barto
Characteristics: 450 pages : illustrations (some colour), map (some colour)


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Sep 01, 2018

Story line was Dickensian, I enjoyed it very much and will recommend it to my grandson. Parts of the story were a intense, sobering for a child but would be appropriate for mature middle grade readers as well as adults.

CRRLKids May 25, 2018

A debut children's book, The Wonderling is a wonderful cross between the gentle innocence of Peter Rabbit tales and the action-packed allure of the Redwall series. Thirteen, a one-eared fox with an acute sense of hearing, is born into a life of drudgery; he and all the other groundlings (small, land dwelling creatures) must endure tedious lessons of servitude from the tyrannical Ms. Carbunkle. Trinket, a bird, befriends Thirteen and bestows upon him the name Arthur, named after the hero from the Arthurian legends whose legacy the one-eared fox must strive to live up to. The illustrations add much to this tender tale of adventure of friendship.

The Wonderling is an interesting book full of dynamic creatures and characters. It stars Arthur AKA number thirteen, a young one eared fox who has outstanding hearing abilities and a passion for music that no one can really explain-as he has never heard much beyond the Home. The Home is run by the evil Miss.Carbunkle who uses the orphans to build strange items everyday and make their overall lives miserable. Arthur joined by his friend Trinket as they are determined to find a way out of the Home and learn more about the world outside they don't know anything about.

I like this book as it's very well written despite having a children fairytale tone. The characters are realistic and fun to root for. Arthur himself is an interesting person and the setting makes it feel like we're exploring with him in this fictional world. It's quite long spanning 400 pages and I honestly feel like some of it can be shortened down to make a concise and stronger story. Overall I rate this book a 7/10


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