Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)” as Want to Read:
The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  12,429 Ratings  ·  2,033 Reviews
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is n
Hardcover, 267 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mysterious Howling, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Daniel 15 average-length chapters plus an epilogue. Also lots of breaks in the chapters .

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 20, 2011 Shana rated it it was amazing
If you see the date I finished this book, you may (or may not, who can say?) be surprised to know that I started it on July 22nd and only read on public transportation and a bit while walking down 7th Ave. in Manhattan on my way to work this morning. (That's dangerous, though, and I wouldn't recommend it even if you are rather experienced at reading and walking.)

I bought the book on a whim. I liked that it had the word "incorrigible" on the cover, and the illustration appealed to me. I'm in arre
Mar 03, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
When you're a parent or a librarian or a teacher or a bookseller who reads a lot of children's books, you sometimes wish for fun. Children's books are often by their very nature "fun". But there's fun that's strained and trying to appeal to everyone and then there's fun that appears to be effortless. You read a book, are transported elsewhere, lose track of time, and never want the story to end. It's the kind of fun a person encounters in a book like Book One of The Incorrigible Children of Asht ...more
Hmmmm, take the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. Then make Anne Sullivan a fifteen-year-old first-time nanny from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and make Helen Keller three children raised by wolves and found by a wealthy landowner. Then set it in Victorian England and add large punches of Lemony Snicket-y humor and you've got a fair idea of this book. Oh, yes, make it a series, with the first one ending leaving the reader wanting more.

Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia (
Jan 03, 2017 Melki rated it it was amazing
An innocent young lady arriving at a mysterious mansion to look after some wealthy person's children is not exactly a new theme, but I'm quite certain it's never been done this way before. Imagine Lemony Snicket and Victoria Holt had a doomed, clandestine encounter on a dark, forbidding moor somewhere . . . and this book was their secret shame, the bastard love-child of that tear-stained coupling.


Anyway, our dear Miss Lumley, bright eyed and bushy tailed, is eager to mold the minds of her
Jan 09, 2010 Paula rated it it was ok
There are some serious problems with this book. I will present them in a list:

1. The sub-title, "The Mysterious Howling." This "mysterious howling" is only mentioned in the last chapter and never revealed. It is a weak attempt at drawing readers into committing to reading the next book in the series.

2. There is absolutely no reason for this book to become a series. There is not enough meat to it. It could have been a good one-off book, if the author had been allowed to address #1 and finish it a
Destinee Sutton
Oct 05, 2010 Destinee Sutton rated it really liked it
Another Lemony Snicket-y goody! Its only shortcoming as a book is that it's the first in a series and therefore a big tease. No revelations, just setup. But really funny, smart, enjoyable setup.

It's a fantastic audiobook--I dare say possibly better than reading it because the narrator does some awesome howling. Today I kept hearing "Lumawoo" and "Cassawoof" and "Nutsawoo" in my head. So great!
Aug 03, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: victorian, younger
Totally implausible but endearing story-beginning of a fifteen-year-old orphan (who seems more like 30) employed as governess to three children raised by wolves. Humor and hijinks abound.
Sep 10, 2015 E.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I might start with a quote (no, not by the great Ms. Agatha Swanburne; no, neither is it by the plucky heroine of our story, Miss Penelope Lumley). I start with a quote by the authoress herself, Miss Maryrose Wood:

If you have ever opened a can of worms, boxed yourself into a corner, ended up in hot water, or found yourself in a pretty pickle, you already know that life is rarely (if ever) just a bowl of cherries. It is far more likely to be a bowl of problems, worries, and difficulties. This is
Jackie "the Librarian"
In this amusing book, similar in style to the Lemony Snicket "Series of Unfortunate Events" series, but not as dark or arch, 15 year old Penelope Lumley, nervous but determined, is sent from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females to work as a governess (in the style of Jane Eyre). She is hopeful of finding bright young children to fill up with learning and, ideally, ponies. She has a thing for ponies.

The gimmick is, the children, two boys and a girl, need some remedial work first, as the
Sep 10, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing

I had only vaguely heard of this book until this spring, when Maryrose Wood spoke at a conference I attended. She was so lovely I bought this and had it signed for my kids, mostly to sort of high-five her for her great keynote address. But I thought I'd read it myself before passing it on... So wonderful! I don't really like a lot of recent middle grade- shocking, I know! There are too many bickering siblings and idiot parents for my taste. But there was none of that here. Instead it
Jul 20, 2011 Stephanie rated it liked it
I read this in one sitting last night. It was very "Lemony Snickett-y" is the tone and sense of humor. I thought Miss Lumley (also known as Lumawoo) was adorable in her no-nonsense governess position. And the children, so funny, the little wolflings with their wild habits and trusting ways. I will look for the next in this series. I will also recommend them to my nieces (ages 10 and 9) as I believe this is a good series for little girls.
Jan 13, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
This is the thoroughly charming Victorian tribute/spoof tale of Miss Penelope Lumley, fifteen years old and a new graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, and her first job as governess. When she arrives at Ashton Place, she is greeted the a wildly enthusiastic young mistress (recently married) who seems rather too eager to engage Miss Lumley in the position, even going so far as to have her sign a contract. The "mysterious howling" noise Penelope hears gives her only momentary ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Morgan rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. The set-up was fun, and the writing is endearing, but when you think of the premise of an overly young Victorian governess bringing children raised by wolves into high society, well, antics ensue, right? Yes. On page 220.

The rest of the book is about a nice schoolmarm that teaches these three students with unbelievable effectiveness whilst they behave themselves. The book is more a catalog of what they learn and how good they are (oops one accidentally opens a
I wasn't quite sure what to expect about this book. Feral children, yes, certainly, but the synopsis makes it sound anything but serious. And I was delighted to discover that it really isn't.

More than anything, I would call this a sort of gentle poke at (and tribute to) Victorian governess stories, with a narrator that felt somewhat Lemony to me. It's enhanced by the deliberately dramatic reading of the narrator on the audiobook, which made the whole thing great fun to listen to. Sure, it's wond
Jul 24, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it
Imagine a cross between Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Jane Eyre, and that would give you an idea of how engrossing and enjoyable the first book in Maryrose Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series is. Miss Penelope Lumley is 15 years old, and having completed her studies at Agatha Swanburne's Academy for Poor Bright Females, she is summoned to an interview at Ashton Place, the home of Lord and Lady Ashton. She is expecting a rigorous interview, and is instead ...more
Melissa Chung
Oct 19, 2014 Melissa Chung rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more, but I just didn't. The beginning started off very well. Penelope Lumley, a fifteen year old graduate from Swanburne Academy is on her way to, hopefully a new job. Penelope is very nervous, this being her first job interview. When she arrives at Ashton Place, she is disturbed to hear howling and barking. The lady of the house, Lady Constance, hires Miss Lumely before giving any details about the children. We the readers find out in the first chapter that the child ...more
Kayla Edwards
Mar 30, 2016 Kayla Edwards rated it really liked it
This was a really intriguing novel about a young governess who gets tricked into taking care of three children who seem to have been raised by wolves before being found by a hunter one day. But there's something very fishy going on; someone seems to sabotaging the children's efforts to assimilate, but who? It is reminiscent of Jane Eyre, kind of a children's version with a touch of The Jungle Book. I got into and it was very fast-paced. It would have easily had a 5 star review if not for the end ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Kiwi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya, for-r
I picked this book because I liked its retro drawings, in addition to the cover, the book includes a number of sketches that illustrate events in the story, they bring back memories of my childhood well thumbed) books.

This book target audience is 7-12 years olds and it has wonderful descriptive language, which is something that I appreciate in children’s books. I read it alongside my son who also approved this novel (great bonus, Yay for mum!). The story is engaging, the appeal of a mystery and
The humor and Victorian sensibility of this book will remind readers of Lemony Snicket. Miss Penelope Lumley, a fifteen year old orphan and recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, accepts her first job as governess to three mysterious children who were literally raised by wolves. Charged by Lord and Lady Ashton, the owners of the estate on which the children were found, to civilize and educate these "incorrigible" children, Penelope designs a curriculum that includes La ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

I am very picky about children's books. I used to do children's programming at a public library and I am very passionate about juvenile literature. When I initially heard about this new series, I was intrigued and I am so happy that I was able to get an advance copy of the first book.

Miss Penelope Lumley (a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre) leaves the Swaburne Academy for Poor Bright Females in answer to an advertisement for a go
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Listening to The Mysterious Howling has further gotten me thinking on the subject of what makes a book marketable for a particular age group. The Mysterious Howling has a pretty sophisticated writing style and the heroine and villain (of sorts) are both teenagers. Yet it’s marketed as a middle grade. With this, I give up. Books are books and we should read them if we want to, no matter who they’re supposedly for. Who’s with me?

Read the full review at A Reader of Fictions.

Holy moly. Can I give an adoption certificate to fiction characters? Cuz I want to take the Incorrigibles – the three orphans raised by wolves from the pages of The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood and keep them in my home. You guys, I actually read the second book of the Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place series first, but that totes does not diminish my love in any way.

Read the rest of my review here
Hilary Woolf
Jul 26, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it really liked it
Raised by wolves children find stately home and governess. Wolf tendencies prevail although lovely governess does her best. Stately home owners show themselves and friends in a bad light. Lots of mystery, humour, and lovely names. Lumawoo is wonderful and wise beyond her years. Some philosophy on if it's morally right to kill. The story was quite climactic at the party towards the end but reached no conclusion. I don't feel we have been left on a cliff hanger, more we have started on a huge book ...more
Dec 21, 2009 GraceAnne rated it really liked it
This is terrific: witty, funny, droll, completely absorbing. It is the beginning of a series that comes to a good end without really solving any of the mysteries, but leaving one satisfied. The language is crisp and witty, with asides and delights. Edward Gorey would be proud.
Nov 28, 2016 Tasha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-reads
A cute story. Narrated well on audio. The cover art drew me to pick up the book.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Miss Penelope Lumley is eager to embrace her first job as a governess. She has just graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and is ready to put the sayings of the school's founder, the redoubtable Agatha Swanburne, into action. Though her plans to teach her pupils Latin declensions might have to be put on hold for awhile at least. The thing is, when she arrives at Ashton Place she learns the truth, her three charges were found in the woods where it is presumed they were rais ...more
Karen Barber
Oct 17, 2016 Karen Barber rated it really liked it
For a book intended for younger readers, this was curiously written.
When we first meet Penelope she is on her way to an interview at Ashton Place to assume the role of governess to three young children. We can tell something odd is going on when we meet the children in the barn!
There's an air of whimsy to this book, but the style of writing was genuinely fascinating. With a rather eccentric turn of phrase, and a quite knowing tone, this reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket.
Great fun, with plenty
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
The Mysterious Howling has all the check-marks for a Lemony Snicket ripoff: three unfortunate orphans, a series of unexplained events, and a droll offstage narrator but those similarities stop there as Wood takes a refreshing look at these old conventions in children's literature. You see the children of Ashton place were raised literally by wolves and they really aren't the protagonists of the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. The main character is actually a Mary Poppins like teen ...more
Eva Mitnick
Jun 01, 2010 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
As so many young and penniless but well-educated women have done in so many novels, 15-year-old Penelope Lumley takes the train on a journey toward a job as a governess in a grand yet mysterious house. Once she arrives, she finds that the children - and the job - are not quite what she had expected, the two brothers and their little sister having been raised by wolves before being "rescued" by Lord Frederick and his new wife Lady Constance.

Penelope's stalwart and creative response to the obstacl
Lauren (Northern Plunder)
This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I got my audio book copy of The Mysterious Howling from SYNC's summer event where every week they had two audio books up for free download, so I visited every week and grabbed the ones that took my interest.

As I've never listened to an audio book before I initially struggled getting into it as I couldn't seem to find the right moment to listen, bus journeys were too short, scrolling through tumblr
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2017 Reading Chal...: The Mysterious Howling 1 8 May 29, 2016 09:14PM  
Like OR Dislike? 14 61 May 01, 2015 01:00PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1) 4 3 Nov 14, 2013 11:11AM  
Word Game! 5 11 Mar 01, 2013 06:04PM  
  • Horton Halfpott; or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset
  • Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! (The Bunny's #1)
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
  • The Kneebone Boy
  • The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (The Penderwicks, #3)
  • Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze
  • The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
  • Penny Dreadful
  • The Unforgotten Coat
  • The Birthday Ball
  • Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia Throckmorton, #2)
  • Nooks & Crannies
  • Five, Six, Seven, Nate!
  • Alchemy and Meggy Swann
  • Kat, Incorrigible (Kat, Incorrigible, #1)
  • Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It
  • Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (Peter Nimble, #1)
Maryrose grew up in the wild suburbs of Long Island, moved to New York City at age 17 to study acting at New York University, then dropped out to be in the chorus of a Broadway musical — which flopped.

Lean and action-packed years of acting, directing, and making drunk people laugh at comedy clubs followed. Becoming a writer seemed the only way out of this Dickensian existence.

Maryrose started out
More about Maryrose Wood...

Other Books in the Series

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (6 books)
  • The Hidden Gallery (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #2)
  • The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #3)
  • The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #4)
  • The Unmapped Sea (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #5)
  • The Long-Lost Home (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #6)

Share This Book

“All books are judged by their covers until they are read.” 111 likes
“If it were easy to resist, it would not be called chocolate cake.” 71 likes
More quotes…