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Is Underground (The Wolves Chronicles #8)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  329 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The Children Of London Are Vanishing

No one knows why, so Is Twite, younger sister of Dido Twite (from Dido and Pa and Nightbirds on Nantucket), sets out to discover the whereabouts of Arun, her cousin, and Davie, the king's only son — both missing.

Is soon finds herself aboard a secret midnight train heading north to Playland, a place of fun and frolic and dancing every nig

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Paperback, 242 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Yearling (first published May 14th 1992)
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Community Reviews

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Nigel
I love the Edward Gorey cover. Aiken and Gorey go together perfectly well. Aiken and Gorey sounds like the name of some sort of weird and gothic medical drama, sort of like House, if House investigated talking warts and haemogoblins and phantom limbs where you have an extra pair of hands doing unimaginable things you can feel but not see.

Is, half-sister of Dido, embarks on an adventure all her own, a particularly dark one as the children of London have been lured to the new kingdom set up in the
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Miriam
Blastburn is back, and it's badder, blacker, and child-abusinger than ever.

Unfortunately, Is is no Dido Twite. She's probably a better person is some ways, but she's not as entertaining as her wild and mouthy sister. That combined with the grimness of the situation for all the children made this kind of a dark read.
Kirsten
A stand-alone continuation of the Wolves Chronicles, this excellent adventure features Dido Twite's younger half-sister, Is. Since the events of Dido & Pa, Is has settled happily with her older sister Penny. Their tranquil existence is interrupted, however, by a chance encouter with an uncle they never knew they had -- an uncle who, as his dying wish, charges Is to find her missing cousing Arun. Like Dido, Is is tough, resourceful, and honors her promises, so she heads off into the north cou ...more
Celeste Ng
Jun 16, 2007 Celeste Ng rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids and wannabe kids
In this book our heroine is Dido's sister (though she feels and acts much like Dido) and the setting is an immense mine where children are forced into labor. Completely immersing and surprisingly complex.
Dormouse
Feb 11, 2008 Dormouse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who read
Shelves: ya
It was good and interesting and exciting.
I would now like to read more books by Joan Aiken.
Julie H.
Is Underground is the story of a young girl obligated by a deathbed request to investigate the fate of children spirited northward from London on the Playland Express. Sent to work in the mines, pottery, and/or foundry of an underground city, children toil from the age of five to 20 in the mines where "Boys in Playland comes and goes faster than raindrops" (p. 52).

Set in 19th-century England, the story is full of political intrigue, class-warfare, unfed and mistreated children. More important, h
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Anthony Faber
Wolves #8. Takes up where "Dido and Pa" left off. Is goes off on her own adventure. I'm noticing that these books are all alike. Plucky youngster gets mixed up in some mischief being done by wealthy, powerful people and puts a stop to it. Pretty well written, but...
Ben Chenoweth
Wow, what a contrast to the last book I read! This one was brilliantly paced, with a fascinating plot and great characters. But the highlight of any Joan Aiken book is the language, and this one has it in spades. English regional dialects leap off the page. And she appears to make up words (or at least unexpected derivations of real words) that add to the charm. All in all, Is is highly recommended.
Jenn Estepp
in this volume of the wolves chronicles, dido passes the mantle to little half-sister is, who finds herself looking for a long-lost cousin up in the north country. the beginning/set-up was a little too much pinocchio/land of lost boys for me. but, i loved is's development as a character and the supporting cast are typically great. as is the nefarious villain and his comeuppance.
Kezzzzz
I found the story very interesting, and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.
Also, Gold Kingy was such a jerk :P
The only problem is that it took a while for things to happen (which was a good thing, because the suspense was well built), but I found it ended a bit too abruptly.
I give it a 3.75 stars :)
Cheryl
Somehow this just didn't do it for me. I still recommend it though. I think it's better for fans of adventures, those who like fast-paced quests kinds of things. I like character development, humor, and heart.
Lia Marcoux
Love, love, love this book. Probably my favorite of the Wolves Chronicles (and it doesn't even have Dido). Spooky and massively original.
linnea
read this book a long time ago. all I remember is that it's awesome.
Carole
I definitely want to read more books by this author.
Jan Yip
Another childhood favorite.....
jennifer
cat boy! only one left :/
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Joan Delano 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 celebrating its 50th Anniversary with the publication of three brand new editions of the book and a new AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.

Follow THE JOAN AIKEN BLOG at http://joanaiken.wordpress.com/

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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)
  • Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3)
  • The Stolen Lake (The Wolves Chronicles, #4)
  • Dangerous Games
  • The Cuckoo Tree
  • Dido and Pa
  • Cold Shoulder Road
  • Midwinter Nightingale
  • The Witch Of Clatteringshaws
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1) Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2) Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves Chronicles, #3) Jane Fairfax Arabel's Raven (Arabel and Mortimer, #1)

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“She thought about Penny’s stories. There was one about a man who had three wishes and married a swan. If I had three wishes, I know what I’d wish for, thought Is. I’d wish for those two boys to be found, and for us all to be back on Blackheath Edge. She thought about Penny teaching her to read. “What’s the point of reading?” Is had grumbled at first. “You can allus tell me stories, that’s better than reading.” “I’ll not always be here,” Penny had said shortly. “Besides, once you can read, you can learn somebody else. Folk should teach each other what they know.” “Why?” “If you don’t learn anything, you don’t grow. And someone’s gotta learn you.”

Well, thought Is, if I get outta here, I’ll be able to learn some other person the best way to get free from a rolled-up rug.”
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