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Nikczemny spisek. Łotrowska opowieść z haniebnymi ilustracjami autorki
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Nikczemny spisek. Łotrowska opowieść z haniebnymi ilustracjami autorki

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  9,345 Ratings  ·  1,711 Reviews
„Powinniśmy chyba być sierotami, prawda?” – zasugerowało pewnego dnia jedno z rodzeństwa Willoughbych. Wszyscy czworo należą do rodziny w staroświeckim stylu, a ich rodzice – no cóż, ich rodzice pozostawiają bardzo wiele do życzenia. Dzieci, przypominając sobie bohaterów i bohaterki książek takich jak „Ania z Zielonego Wzgórza” czy „Pollyanna”, zawiązują diaboliczny spisek ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published June 10th 2009 by Nasza Księgarnia (first published January 1st 2008)
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Leandra Cate Well.. there is a dark quirkiness to this book that I loved as a 40 year old but it IS about much younger children and at 15 - 17, you're pretty much…moreWell.. there is a dark quirkiness to this book that I loved as a 40 year old but it IS about much younger children and at 15 - 17, you're pretty much an adult.(less)
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Jan 13, 2008 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in all good old-fashioned stories, this one involves the four Willoughby children. There is Tim, the oldest, who is very bossy. Jane is the youngest and has a hard time sticking up for herself. And then there are the twins A and B. The children are essentially good kids, but their parents are the worst sorts. Negligent and wasteful, they concoct a plan to leave on vacation and sell their house while they're gone (hopefully ridding themselves of the children in the meantime). To the young Will ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Daisy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lavender, Arpeggio, Noxzema
Recommended to Daisy by: Muphyn
This is one of the best things I've read all year. It is my new favorite book. So smart and funny, I read it with--I swear--a real smile on my face the entire time AND I laughed out loud. That might have had something to do with the small kitten I have who fell asleep upside down on my shoulder while I was reading it but not entirely. I want to own this book (mine came from the library) and to give it to everyone I know, especially any children I know. Hmm...
I was hooked when I read the author'
Jul 02, 2008 Jackie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a scholar of 18th and 19th century children's literature, I was immediately drawn to a book purporting to be a parody of "old fashioned" books. But I was unimpressed by Lowry's actual novel. Perhaps because I had in mind a definition of parody that means something beyond just a "funny" imitation; most parodies are written to ridicule or satirize the genre they imitate. Lowry's book doesn't imitate to critique, or to satirize. Or perhaps it is because Lowry's idea of "old fashioned book" is ju ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird, middle-grade
What an odd little book. The Willoughbys is a sort of parody of "old fashioned" children's books. The children are hoping that their parents will be killed in a dangerous around the world trip, and the parents are hoping to sell the home out from under the children and have them cast out into the street before they return. There's also an abandoned baby, a wealthy benefactor, and a nanny who whips the children into shape.

It's impossible to read this book without comparing it to Lemony Snicket an
Clare Cannon
Jun 21, 2010 Clare Cannon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10-12 years (mature readers)
Shelves: 08-12yrs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marjorie Hakala
Apr 05, 2008 Marjorie Hakala rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember being told, perhaps six or seven years ago, that Europeans considered America to have no proper sense of irony. Things have changed since then to such an extent that our even our eight-year-olds can understand a well-aimed dry parody. Or at least I hope so, because otherwise there will be no audience for this remarkable little book. Lois Lowry, a master of children's literature in deadly earnest ( The Giver frightened me to death, and remembering it still does) has produced The Willou ...more
Gülay Cansever
Jul 19, 2016 Gülay Cansever rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
hikaye olsun, karakterler olsun çok ilginç bir kitaptı. biraz kötülük ve hainlik ama çokça sevgi ve iyilik olan bir eski aile hikâyesi. severek okudum. hem büyüklerin hem de küllerin okuması gerek diye düşünüyorum.
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This book was an odd one. Snarky children and a nanny. Off beat classic stories with a weird twist. Not really what I thought this would be.
Author Lois Lowry who gave us Number the Stars, The Giver, A Summer to Die and 30 + other children's stories has now given us The Willoughbys, a clever, tongue in cheek parody of "old fashioned" classic children's stories.
I loved the tag line for this book as soon as I saw it on the cover. "A novel nefariously written & ignominiously illustrated by the author." If that does not hook your attention then maybe the book description will: " 'Shouldn't we be orphans?' one of the Willoughby childr
Brooke Shirts
A rare misfire from Lowry -- this is a satire of various motifs found in "old-fashioned" kidlit: plucky sibling orphans, dastardly villains, prim nannies, long lost sons, babies left on doorsteps, etc. The premise and setup are good, but the characters -- especially the four Willoughby children -- come off as more caustic than funny. I think a lot of these jokes are going to wink straight over the heads of most kids, and some of them (such as the casual "girls are no good at anything" parody of ...more
This book is exactly what the jacket blurb claims it is, "a clever homage to classic works of literature." With references to Heidi, the Bobbsey Twins, and James and the Giant Peach, Lois Lowry creates an old-fashioned tale of four children, hated by their parents, who follow the examples of storybook boys and girls to find a home for themselves.

In the hands of a writer less capable than Lowry, this book could have become a cheesy mess, but the story is delightful. I loved all of the asides and
A silly parody of classic or "old fashioned" children's literature. Fun in it's way but not my favorite type of book as I like to disappear into the book, which requires a suspension of disbelief, and a parody is always reminding you that it is a story. I also have mixed feelings about this poking fun at my favorite books, although I am sure it is meant to be gentle and it is pretty funny, I feel a little bit made fun of myself. I will give it an extra half a star for the wholly delightful gloss ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Highly imaginative adults and children.
Recommended to Lara by: Meagan's April pick
What a fun book! I would say the charm of the book is more in the winsome narration than in a page-turning plot or gripping characters. Great throw-back to silly literature like Roald Dahl. I loved that the characters all wanted to be winsome orphans. That was just like me. As a child always wanted to be tragically kidnapped or stricken down by a terrible disease.
Monica Edinger
I was and am a BIG Lemony Snicket fan. And once I came across Edward Gorey in high school I was smittened too. I like Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, and other snarky writers enormously. But for whatever reason, this book didn't provoke the same response from me as the works of those writers do. (Gorey's Hapless Child is my all-time favorite.) The Willoughbys was just...okay. (I keep going between two and three stars. Two for my personal response, three because I respect what the author is doing.)

Apr 04, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lemony Snicket gave The Willoughbys a rave in Publishers Weekly, so I had to read this clever, slightly twisted children's book. I loved its offbeat take on "old fashioned stories" - the four children wish they were orphans, and their irritable parents wish they had no children (and can never remember the daughter exists). The humor is dry and I laughed out loud several times while reading this on an airplane, which kept waking up the guy sleeping next to me.

There are also lots of book reference
Jan 04, 2009 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what I would've expected from Lowry. Personally, I'm a fan of many of the "old-fashioned" books that she parodied. This is a children's book (at least, it's shelved that way at my local library) but kids won't get many of the references or humor here, which means that it's really a book for adults masquerading as a children's book. When I first started reading, I felt it reminded me quite a bit of the Lemony Snicket books, so young readers might relate a bit more if they've read those ...more
Jun 04, 2012 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
This felt more like Roald Dahl than Lois Lowry... or rather more like Lois Lowry writing a great parody of Roald Dahl. Despite the meanness so many characters have at the beginning and the fact that it reads in a cartoonish way much of the time, the book did manage to make me feel for the characters at the same time. I really like how the characters kept hoping they'd have lives like the characters from famous books. I'm not sure whether it's enough for someone unfamiliar with the books mentione ...more
Lois! I had no idea you could be so funny! I am not a fan of The Giver and was hesitant to try this one, but it came highly recommended and rightly so! Charming and witty I basked in this clever and humorous homage to all those old-fashioned orphan books. I listened to this on audio book and my teenage daughter walked in to hear the last few chapters and joined in the laughter with me even though she knew nothing about the book. So much fun! I happily pass on the recommendation.
Stefan Bachmann
Sep 15, 2012 Stefan Bachmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one's only about 140 pages so by the end it *might* feel a tiny bit fleeting and superficial. I don't think that's a bad thing at all, though. It's super fun to read and I lovvvved the black humor and the way some of the characters are really just horrible and hilarious. I wonder if there'll be a sequel. If so, I wants it.
Jun 07, 2016 Pascale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! It was really funny. I like how the author played with your expectations. Like with Baby Ruth. I think it would be good for anybody. All ages. There hasn't been a Lois Lowry book that I haven't liked! : D
Jun 29, 2010 Clarissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So Good!!!!!
It was interesting
Oct 16, 2016 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-with-anna
This was a delightful way to spend an hour on a Sunday. There was a hint of Lemony Snickett darkness to this otherwise warm and silly book. I recommended it to Anna and she loved it. The snarky glossary at the end was probably her favorite part.
Jan 17, 2009 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've come to pick up any book by Lois Lowry and expect great things between its covers. But when I ran across The Willoughbys in the children's section of my library, proclaiming on its cover to be A Novel Nefariously Written and Ignominiously Illustrated by Lowry, I knew it wouldn't be as profound as her previous books I'd read, but I had a feeling it would still be something special.

With so many nods to orphan stories that have gone before it that Lowry must feel a bit like a bobblehead, The
Nov 03, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a Lois Lowry fan since I was a 3rd grader and Mrs. Sanders read us “All About Sam,” which still reigns supreme as perhaps my all time favorite book. I can still remember wishing the 10 minutes of read aloud time after recess would last forever and the feeling the cool Formica under my arms as I rested my head to close my eyes and imagine it all—The Krupnick’s living room with a stomped pile of broccoli beneath the rug, Sam’s pan-tree and later the Victorian garett that became Anastasia ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Lemony Snicketish novel features the four Willoughby children who long to be "old fashioned," like the characters in many of the books they love like Anne of Green Gables, Jane Eyre, and James and the Giant Peach. Tim, the oldest, is the rather bossy leader of his siblings: identical twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B (A and B for short), and the youngest and timid Jane. It's very clear from the beginning that their parents are well--not that much into being parents. The banker father is "impati ...more
Apr 07, 2011 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I LOVED this book! It made me laugh out loud several times, including when I first started reading it at Chorale rehearsal! I read it again, reading it aloud to my children, who also loved it. I loved explaining all of the literary references. I loved the way it poked fun at the Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I loved the glossary at the back. My favorites? The distasteful mother who knits for the cat and cooks badly; Timothy Anthony Malchy Willoughby and his rules; the Reprehensible Tr ...more
I do believe I have a new favorite novel!!

Of course, it is a juvenile fiction book, meant for children, but this book truly does hit it out of the park. I knew from the instant I read Ms Lowry's bio on the back flap that I was going to love this book:

Influenced in her childhood by a mother who insisted on surrounding her with books instead of roller skates and jump ropes, Lois Lowry grew up lacking fresh air and exercise but with a keen understanding of plot, character, and setting. Every morni
This book seems like it fits neatly into the category with A Series of Unfortunate Events. It has an old-fashioned dime novel sort of feel, with tragic events brushed off easily (for the most part; see below) and lots of crazy, crazy happenings that wrap up fairly well at the very end.

Some of the characters are cardboard cutouts, like the parents. This is kind of important because their children are trying to kill them. You're supposed to feel greater sympathy for the children, and the author su
Jul 09, 2014 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diana by: Amy Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Taken from Lowry's website:
"I’ve always felt that I was fortunate to have been born the middle child of three. My older sister, Helen, was very much like our mother: gentle, family-oriented, eager to please. Little brother Jon was the only boy and had interests that he shared with Dad; together they were always working on electric trains and erector sets; and later, when Jon was older, they always
More about Lois Lowry...

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“Once she read a book but found it distasteful because it contained adjectives.” 23 likes
“We are four worthy orphans with a no-nonsense nanny."

Like Mary Poppins?" suggested the man, with a pleased look of recognition.

Not one bit like that fly-by-night woman," Nanny said with a sniff. "It almost gives me diabetes just to think of her: all those disgusting spoonfuls of sugar!”
More quotes…