Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

In this chilling beginning to The Wolves Chronicles, two little cousins are left in the care of an evil governess. They escape and travel 400 miles to London with their friend Simon and his geese.
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award.

First line:
"It was dusk--winter dusk."

Intrigue. Evil governess. One goose boy. Two mistreated girls. Three different adventures. Wolves within as well as outside
Thus is the tale of Bonnie (rich girl) and Sylvia (poor cousin) as their lives intertwine and their adventures begin.
Some of the aspects of the story were a little hard to believe. Three children travel 400 miles on their own?

What I liked:
Bonnie & Sylvia
Bonnie's courage
The story
Characters growth

What I didn't like:
Some aspects of story
Convenience of some good things happening

Rating: PG
S: No
V: scary adults
L: No


25% test (p.45):
"...marched up the stairs and along the passages to the nursery. Sylvia followed, her heart swollen with compassion. She longed to say some comforting words, but could think of none.
"It may not be long, Bonnie," she ventured at length.
Bonnie sat at the table, her hands tightly clenched together. "I will not, I will not cry," she was saying to herself.
At Sylvia's anxious, loving, compassionate voice she took heart a little, and gave her cousin a smile. "After all," she thought, "I am lucky to have Papa and  Mamma even if they have gone away; poor Sylvia has no one at all."
"Come," she said, jumping up," the sun is shining. I will show you some of the grounds. Let us go skating."
"But Bonnie dear, I have no skates, and I do not know how."
"Oh, it is the easiest thing in the world, I will soon show you and as for skates, Papa thought of that already, look..." Bonnie pulled open a cupboard door and showed six pairs of white kid skating boots, all different sizes. "We knew your feet must be somewhere near the same size as mine, since we are the same age, so Papa had several different pairs made and we thought one of them was certain to fit."
Sure enough, one of the pairs of boots fitted exactly,. Sylvia was much struck by this thought on the part of her uncle, and astonished at the lavishness of having six pairs made for one to be chosen.
Likewise, Pattern pulled out a whole series of white fur caps and pelisses, and tried them against Sylvia until she found ones that fitted. "I've hung your green velvet..."

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