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The Wouldbegoods (Bastable Children, #2)
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The Wouldbegoods (Bastable Children #2)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,081 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Sent away to the country after a particularly unruly episode, the well-meaning but wayward Bastable children solemnly vow to reform their behavior. But their grand schemes for great and virtuous deeds lead to just as much mayhem as their ordinary games, and sometimes more.
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Published December 1st 1996 by Puffin (first published 1901)
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Tracey
Continuing the series about the Bastable children is The Wouldbegoods, in which the children discover that having money again and living in their Indian Uncle's fancy house in town does not make them automatically desire to be good.

I didn't find this nearly as much fun as The Treasure-Seekers. The latter carried on the often amusing conceit that the narrator was anonymous, although Oswald outed himself near the end, as if the reader hadn't already known after a couple of paragraphs. Still, he d
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Chris
Edith Nesbit’s life was certainly unconventional by late Victorian and Edwardian standards, and it’s not surprising that her own childhood experiences and adult observations find themselves thinly fictionalised in her novels, particularly those written for children. Typical is her re-use of names of friends and acquaintances for the names of her characters in The Wouldbegoods. Of the six Bastable children, for example, Oswald and Noel take their names from her male friends and sometime lovers Os ...more
Shawn Thrasher
I read a volume that included both The Story of the Treasure Seekers and The Wouldbegoods with an incredible introduction by Noel Streatfeild - if you can find this volume, do read it. I come to Nesbit quite late in life - she wasn't an author I enjoyed as a child. She's a very modern writer - she's certainly the grandmother of modern fantasy for children with books like Five Children and It. The Bastable stories are ancestors to Judy Blume's Fudge books and The Penderwicks The Penderwicks: A Su ...more
Todd
Aug 07, 2011 Todd added it
Ripping good fun! Within the first chapter you may wonder if you will continue, but by the second you will be hooked! The kids and their antics are hilarious. It is a wonder that it is not a well known classic. Any lover of nineteenth century english novels must add this to their collection. Brilliant. [One of the key comedic elements that one could read the entire novel without discovering is that Oswald, the oldest brother, whom the narrator constantly praises and holds in high esteem IS the n ...more
Brian
Very good. At first I was slightly baffled: I never thought of the Bastables as naughty in the first book, but the kind of trouble they get into made sense. I really liked the idea of a "Would-be-good" society and it really gives the narrative a solid arc. There are some gems in this book. Oswald is Oswald, and Nesbit knew what to do with him in a lot of places. There's one chapter involving a cricket ball which is priceless.

I love the ending. Nesbit was a good person with words. Dora, Dicky, No
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Matilda
This book is the sequel of 'The Treasure Seekers', which is a brilliant book. In 'The Wouldbegoods', Dora, Oswald, Alice, Dicky, Noel and H.O. are banished to the countryside with Daisy and Denny to live with Albert's uncle, one of their friends. Dora, Alice and Daisy make up a society, and you can probably guess it was called 'The Society of The Wouldbegoods'. In this society, they find that being a Wouldbegood doesn't really help you be good at all...

This book is so good, I could read it ten t
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Lynne
Proving once again that children need to be unsupervised to have adventures.
Louise
Pleasant and charming.
Melissa
What a crack-up! This is book 2 of the Treasure Seekers series by Edith Nesbit. One thing I noticed right off was that E.Nesbit used a masculine, first person voice. I don't think I've ever read this kind before. It may also surprise many, because it's a little-known fact, that E. Nesbit was C.S.Lewis' favorite author. Now I'm quirky and enjoy rabbit trails, obscure narratives, and British ways of speaking, so this book was a hoot.
The premise is the Bastable children plus 2 Foulkes children, s
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Caitlin Lillie
This is the sequel to The Treasure Seekers, starting not long after the first book ends, with the children and their father moving in with their Indian Uncle. The first book was good - funny, fast-moving and easy to read. This was still easy to read and fast moving but not nearly as funny. Instead of looking for treasure to "restore their family's fortunes" they are trying to become good as the girls have worked out that they while sometimes they are just cheeky sometimes they are down-right-nau ...more
Mikayla
This book was a very disappointing sequel to The Treasure Seekers. I had picked up the first book because I had seen the movie and loved it, I found the book equely charming and was very excited when I discovered there was a squel. I did mannage to get through the whole book but it was SO monaotanas. This is how every chapter goes: The kids decided to do something, it turns out its not as good as they thought, Oswald say's it isn't his fault, they get yelled at, end of chapter. Now I did love th ...more
Felicity
This wasn't as good as the first book as it didn't have such a clear plot line and it is narrated by Oswald. I still enjoyed certain chapters like the one about the baby! E.Nesbit was certainly ahead of her time and I love the way that she shares a secret with her readers long before the Bastable children realise they have done something wrong...

It is quite amusing how they manage to get themselves in to so many scrapes unintentionally. This is good if you like E. Nesbit but still not as good a
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Lisa
I didn't love this quite as much as The Treasure Seekers but it was still really fun and very funny. Later British authors (Lewis, Dahl, Rowling, etc.) owe a great deal to E. Nesbit. And the Baxtables (plus the white mice, aka Mouse and the Dentist) are wonderful.
Linda
kids off on adventures under the very eye of clueless adults. Effete, rather sickly (or at least distracted), down on their luck adults, a strong band of kids with a life of their own.

E. Nesbit was one of the founders of the socialist Fabian Society and wrote over 40 books, mostly for kids. She is credited as having invented the 'kids as adventurers' genre.
Jenn
Book bingo 2014 Second book in a series.

I had been given this book 20 years ago and finally read it.

It is a cute story of 8 children who with good intentions always get into trouble. The only thing I didn't like was the style of Oswald telling the story in the third person. That is probably why I never got into it as a child.
Susan
This book was not carried by the library when I was liitle, and I always liked the title and the Bastable clan, so it was good to get to read it, but...a club for trying to be good is not as much fun to read about as a club for hunting for treasure, and I see why the librarians stocked up on The Story of theTreasure Seekers instead.
Megan
A hilariously funny tale of 6 siblings and their twi friends who try as hard as they can to be "good," but each venture they embark on turns into a disaster. I have to admit that it is a one-joke book, and it did drag a bit towards the end, but the writing is so funny it wasn't hard to persevere.
Heather
May 10, 2012 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of britkidlit
Shelves: kidlit, kindle
I didn't like it as much as The Story of the Treasure Seekers. The Bastables' antics cause a lot more harm to everyone around them and I'm just not down with that.
Paula Steele
An interesting read about a group of young children and their summer adventures...Their goal was to be good, but somehow, they seemed to always get into mischief, regardless of their intents. Humorous at times and a good lesson about intent vs. actuality in young minds!!
Dominick
The further adventures of the Bastables, of Treasure Seekers fame, is sometimes amusing but something too much of a good thing; their pranks, especially the really dangerous, harmful ones, get irritating rather than amusing after a while.
Trine
An okay children's story but it lacked the purpose of the first book in the series. It was more a: Here is what 8 children can do of mischief during a summerholiday-type of book, and I guess I am too old to have a liking for those stories.
Lori
Maire and I really like this book. It was a bit hard to pick up where the story left off after setting it down for some time but we always enjoyed joining the children in their attempted deeds of kindness.
Alison
Another fantastic Bastable book! They sure get in a lot of trouble in this one - as opposed to charming the pants off everyone in the last book. Hilarious the whole way through. I love Oswald as a narrator.
Molly
Don't read this guys...I mean it's kind of sweet, but it's essentially boring. It's about these 5 (or so) kids who get stuck in the country with nothing to do...how interesting can that be?
martha
Jul 20, 2012 martha added it
Shelves: 2005
[2005 review.] I like her books with magic better but this was still fun. Apart from, uh, the turn of the century racial slurs and stuff. But Oswald the unreliable narrator is great.
Stephanie
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Now I can't decide if I think the "Five Children and It" or the "Treasure Seekers" books are better.
Shelley Daugherty
Enjoyed this second installment of the Bastible children. They add two new friends to this mix.
Vickie Middleton
A little long winded but a good insight into life as it was back then.
Sharon
Good kids book, read it long ago. Date is a guess.
Jonathan
An amusing romance. Also there are children.
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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
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More about E. Nesbit...

Other Books in the Series

Bastable Children (4 books)
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #1)
  • New Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #3)
  • Oswald Bastable and Others (Bastable Children, #4)
The Railway Children Five Children and It (Five Children, #1) The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children, #2) The Enchanted Castle The Enchanted Castle & Five Children and It

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