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Nightbirds on Nantucket on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles #3)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  1,810 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Having had enough of life on board the ship that saved her from a watery grave, Dido Twite wants nothing more than to sail home to England. Instead, Captain Casket's ship lands in Nantucket, where Dido and the captain's daughter, Dutiful Penitence, are left in the care of Dutiful's sinister Aunt Tribulation. In Tribulation's farmhouse, life is unbearable. When mysterious m ...more
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published 1966 by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
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Sep 07, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like ripping good yarns
Recommended to Mariel by: twigging my lay
Man, I love these books. The Wolves of Willoughby chase is really good, and deservedly a classic, but where's the love for Dido Twite? Most people I know don't realize that this was a series (the connection to 'Wolves' is a loose one). I love the little spitfire. Anyway, these were so much fun that I skipped a bunch of classes to read them. Good times. Not that I'm condoning truancy, I'm merely condoning reading these books (stay in school!). Not all of the Dido books are as good as this one, ho ...more
Hank Horse
Jun 01, 2008 Hank Horse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-kids
Oh boy! This may be my favorite of all the Joan Aiken books. Dido Twite is simply one of the greatest characters I've ever read. I wonder if anyone writing today could handle the challenge of a story with an adult Dido as protagonist?

some book-learnin':

"At the beginning, Dido is an eccentric, somewhat snappy child, with little to endear her. It is not long, however, before Simon and the reader begin to see something attractive in the ‘‘brat’’ (p. 23). Initially it is her ‘‘forlorn, neglected air
Jul 21, 2010 CLM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to CLM by: Ward School Library
Reading this to my nieces. I read this so many times as a child but it is obvious to me now that Aiken had read a lot of Georgette Heyer - Dido uses a lot of slang that I have encountered nowhere else. I think that I as a child figured out all these expressions by context and it is interesting to see that the younger niece does that automatically and the 7th grader wants instant explanations. It will be nice when we reach the Twite books I never read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts
May 04, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids, adults
Shelves: best-books-ever
Okay, this is actually the third book in the series. The series goes as follows:

1. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
2. Black Hearts in Battersea
3. Nightbirds on Nantucket
4. The Stolen Lake
5. The Cuckoo Tree
6. Dido and Pa
7. Is
8. Cold Shoulder Road

There are more, but these are the best.

You can read them in order, or not (I didn't, and I actually recommend reading Nightbirds on Nantucket first, reading the other two as prequels, and then continuing on in order), but you absolutely must read them, beca
A fun read, but not up to the standards of the rest of the giant heap of "should've read this ages ago" books I've been going through. The main threat is just silly (a giant gun that will shoot across the Atlantic to kill King James in London, the recoil from which will push Nantucket into New York Harbor). Silly in a good way, of course--I don't mean to be a wet blanket here--but, given the context in which I read it, not nearly as realistic as I'd expect. I mean, THE BOY JONES was real within ...more
After reading Nightbirds on Nantucket by Joan Aiken I have experience a profound feeling to regain the childhood I left behind me some years ago, it is an insane and enriching feeling that should enlighten any adult, child, male or female. The story begins when ten-year old Dido Twite, an English girl, awakens from a ten-month coma aboard an American whaling ship. When Dido recovers, Captain Casket asks her to befriend his skittish daughter, Dutiful Penitence, who refuses to leave her cabin beca ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The first of the Wolves Chronicles that I ever read, and still my favourite. I have no idea how many times I've read this but at least ten or fifteen since I first ran across it in the elementary school library when I was about 8. I had no idea it was part of a series, as I remember only this and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase were in our library in those days. I read it again and again in school, and even borrowed it from a friend and never gave it back--sorry, Sarah. I still have it and it's i ...more
Nov 03, 2015 Geneva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a kid I would steadfastly refuse to read any books that were not about magic or aliens, and I mean steadfastly. I wouldn't read A Little Princess as soon as I realized that it wasn't about a real princess. There were a couple of books (like The Well Wishers) where the magic was vague and uncertain, and even those made me angry (even though I loved Edward Eager's other books). If it wasn't about magic, I wasn't going to read it. That was the rule.

To every rule there are a few exception
Sep 03, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightfully adventurous! This book had me interested from the very first page. I loved all the characters, and the story was filled with all kinds of twists and turns. Dido Twite, Nate Pardon and Dutiful Penitence Casket were the main characters, along with Captain Casket and "Aunt Tribulation." Oh, and you can't forget Rosie, the pink whale and Mr. Jenkins the parrot who always talked as if addressing royalty. The expressions that the author, Joan Aiken had her characters use was colorful and ...more
Mar 15, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-pre-12-07, own
Dido Twite awakens on a Nantucket whaler, having slept for ten months after being rescued from a shipwreck in the arctic. Now, before she can make her way back to her beloved England, she must help Captain Casket's daughter Dutiful Penitence face her fear of everything other than Bible study and needlepoint. No easy task in the face of Pen's new guardian, the sinister Aunt Tribulation! But is Aunt Trib all she appears to be? This is a mystery, an adventure story, and a very, very funny book.
Oct 22, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it
This is an old book with a fun little story that was engaging and quick to read. Essentially about a whaling family who spends time searching for a pink whale, rescues a girl from the ocean, and destroys and evil plot to another nation. I won't give more details but I just found it fun and delightful to read. That said, I wouldn't bother buying it out but if you get a chance to borrow it then go for it.
May 20, 2014 Micha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids, adventurers, whale lovers. Fans of Nancy Drew and Boxcar Children.
I was drawn to this fun mystery adventure by the cover drawn by my beloved Edward Gorey and decided I must read a book that he involves himself with especially if there are pink whales in it!

This was my first encounter with Joan Aiken and my favourite aspect of her work was the rich imagery of her characters. It was lovely getting to know every one of them - even the naughty ones - and the author's love of the island of Nantucket was a nice treat. Getting to know a place through the eyes of som
May 19, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you can imagine the plot of A Series of Unfortunate Events in the setting of Moby Dick, you'll have Nightbirds on Nantucket. I found this book God knows where probably a few years ago, likely at a second hand store or friends of the library sale. I bought it because I saw that the cover illustration had been done by Edward Gorey, and I'm a fan of his work.

I finally took it off the shelf to keep myself from making a trip to the bookstore, and I'm truly glad I did. The characters are quirky an
Fantasy Literature
When we last saw Dido Twite at the end of Black Hearts in Battersea she was going down with the Dark Dew ship, swept away from her friends Simon and Justin in the middle of the ocean. Whilst the two boys were forced to go on without her (eventually preventing an assassination attempt on the Duke of Battersea), Dido's fate remained a mystery, that Joan Aiken now resolves for expectant readers in the third book in her Wolves Saga.

After a ten month long sleep, Dido awakes on board a whaler in the m
As a part of the series I rate this four stars, but as a stand-alone three stars. This story does not require one to have read the previous books. It is a little slower than the first two, but having said that, it picks up and I read it every chance I could get. It seems that Dido grew up a lot since the second book, even though she really had no time to mature in between. Oh well. She's not as annoying in this one. I didn't like her very much in Battersea. A fun read. I'll be going to the libra ...more
Aug 11, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I like these Wolves Chronicles. This one is about Dido, who was rescued from the sea by Captain Casket and his crew. After sleeping 10 months, she finally awakes and the Captain gives her the job of getting his daughter out of her cabin and of making sure all is right when they land in Nantucket and his daughter, Dutiful Penitence, has to live with her Aunt Tribulation. There are some totally unbelievable parts, but the book is exciting and fun, and Dido is good at getting the best of Aunt Trib.
Jane Irish Nelson
Fun alternate history -- though the children it's aimed at may not realize it at first, I certainly didn't when I was young!

When Dido Twite wakes up from a coma on board a whaling ship, the captain asks her to coax his daughter out of the closet of his room, where she's been ever since her mother died. She succeeds, and then accompanies Dutiful Penitence to her home on Nantucket, where her aunt Tribulation is to look after her. But nothing there is quite what they expect.
If anyone didn't like Dido Twite before, they certainly would after reading this! When she talked back to Aunt Tribulation, I wanted to cheer! This is a book I would have LOVED when I was younger. There were some parts that required a bit of suspension of disbelief, but in a good way. There were bits that made me think of Moby-Dick, but in a good way - the whale here is pink! There were also bits that reminded me of The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, which also has a whale. Overall, I enjoyed this ...more
May 11, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no intention of running into that name Slighcarp. It really brings a thrill to have Dido Twite into the story. Sleeping for over ten months and she grew six inches. In the opening part of the book it showed a picture of Dido. I had no intention of them cutting her hair. Or dressing her up as a boy.

The understanding of Aunt Tribulation was another thing that went wild. Not Aunt Tribulation, but Ms. Slighcarp. Also, if little Deutiful Penitance was locked into a closet, and they tell what t
Nov 23, 2015 Suzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love how each book Joan Aiken writes links together but through a different character. I love guessing who her next book is going to be about. This was a gorgeous tale about Dido that was exciting, had a great female lead and built on friendship. I would definitely recommend this book and all of the previous ones too. I can't wait to share them with my class and hope that they like them as much as I did.
Mar 19, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite YA books, although it did confuse me (because I'm an American who read Aiken before reading much English history). I'm reading "Moby Dick" now and catching still more of the "Nightbirds" jokes. Smart, funny, weird--everything I like.
Oct 30, 2012 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who REALLY likes Dido Twite
I picked up this book because I loved Black Hearts in Battersea when I was a child, and I enjoyed it again when I re-read it as an adult. I thought that it would be interesting to see how Aiken carried on the story of her characters (even though Dido was never my favorite), but unfortunately Nightbirds did not live up to my expectations.

The plot and intrigue are similar to the tale in its predecessor, but the story as a whole feels more disjoint. Add to this the fact that the crucial plot poin
Claire Alexander
Just read this in the last few days, along with the other two in the trilogy. I loved it. What a whirlwind of chaos and fun.

I think this particular one was my favorite of the three, because I just love Dido Twite.
Sep 25, 2014 Hessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fun book. I read it the first time when I was about 13 and I feel confident about my reading choices as a kid! The story may be a bit farfetched but the characters are very vivid and the dialogue is very colorful. And Dido Twite is one of the best female heroines of all time!
Anthony Faber
Feb 07, 2014 Anthony Faber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolves #3. this one follows Dido Twite after she is lost in the ocean. Her ordeal has apparently made her somewhat impalusibly nicer, smarter and more caring of others. There's some really bad science here, too. Still, if you can ignore that, it's entertaining.
An old fashioned kind of book --Dido is rescued from the sea and taken aboard Captain Casket's ship. She stumbles upon a Hanoverian plot, saves Nantucket and sees a pink whale. MS/HS
Aug 08, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was great fun, easily as good as the first two books, and fantastic to visit a new location in Nantucket - with boney, feisty,wise-cracking, know-all heroine Dido Twite.
Oct 06, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another rollicking adventure from Joan Aitken. Dido Twite is back, having been rescued from the sea at the end of Black Hearts in Battersea, and ends up saving both James III and Nantucket Island from an unfortunate fate. She is as feisty and outspoken as ever, which is much of the fun of this book, but I didn't enjoy the plot quite as much as I have some of the others in this series, hence only 4 stars.
Fun to read, and I didn't get that feeling of self-loathing like I did reading James Patterson's "Alex Cross, Run" the other day.
Beth Burns
Feb 25, 2015 Beth Burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book as a child. I'd really like to find it and read it again to see if it's as good as I remember it being!
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Joan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has been in print for over 50 years with a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and unforgettable short stories.
NEW COLLECTION 2016 - The People in The Castle https://www.goodread
More about Joan Aiken...

Other Books in the Series

The Wolves Chronicles (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1)
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2)
  • The Stolen Lake (The Wolves Chronicles, #4)
  • Dangerous Games (The Wolves Chronicles, #5)
  • The Cuckoo Tree (The Wolves Chronicles, #6)
  • Dido and Pa (The Wolves Chronicles, #7)
  • Is Underground (The Wolves Chronicles, #8)
  • Cold Shoulder Road (The Wolves Chronicles, #9)
  • Midwinter Nightingale (The Wolves Chronicles, #10)
  • The Witch of Clatteringshaws (The Wolves Chronicles, #11)

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