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The Wikkeling

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  80 reviews
In the enormous city of the Addition, all children are SAFE, SECURE, and SUPERVISED, and are watched by cameras even while they sleep. Henrietta is unlikable at her competitive school until she meets Gary and Rose. They all share something in common: headaches with an unknown cause. Then, late one night, Henrietta makes a startling discovery when she finds a wounded cat in ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Running Press Kids (first published May 3rd 2011)
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The Giver by Lois LowryMatched by Ally CondieAmong the Impostors by Margaret Peterson HaddixAmong the Hidden by Margaret Peterson HaddixThe Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle
Middle-Grade Dystopias
13th out of 75 books — 15 voters
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DCL Mock Newbery 2012
22nd out of 42 books — 35 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 563)
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Rebecca
Should not have finished this in the middle of the night. Creeeeeeeeepy.

I loved this book, because it is a rare type for kids' fiction. Very creepy, the Wikkeling moves in flashes - straight our of J-horror movies. But the tongue-in-cheek dystopia where everything is super-safe and wired is just great. It's a little sad too, because the clean, safe, super-connected world they live in is too safe, too clean, and too connected. It made me long for things that I still have, like grass, and books,
...more
Candace
I wasn't sure what I would think of this book when I accepted it for review. But it being labeled a dystopian got my attention and I couldn't turn it down. I'm very glad I didn't because this was a fun and unique read. It also had a bit of a quirky tone to it that really made it even better!

This is set in our world in the future and everything is computerized and books are actually considered dangerous (mold can grow on them *gasp*). I got the giggles at times when reading because in school they
...more
Ramarie
an intriguing book. Henrietta lives in a world which seems not so far in the future, where everything is electronic and children don't get to act on their natural curiosity because of all the possible DANGERS involved. Advertisements fill the air so there is little hope of silence, and sidewalks, trees, and grass have given way to roads.
But Henrietta's not your typical child; she meets two other friends who are different, and they discover an attic in her house where relics such as books and ca
...more
Robyn
"Henrietta is the main character of this story. The whole book will be about her- and it's worth mentioning at the outset a few things that aren't going to happen to her. She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle. She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she's a good girl inside. She will not find out that she's actually a princess, and she won't become happy forever when a prince marries her. Those books are out there, and your school librar ...more
christina
Jun 20, 2011 christina is currently reading it
I was really sad that I missed the signing for this, as I really wanted to bring Lilly too, as she and are in the middle of this, and I think it would have been a bit of a thrill to meet the real, live author and of course see the toy boats!

We are really enjoying the book very much, and it is gripping very well developed characters an enjoyably vivid (if creepy) description on this other worldly place, we love it.

And Lilly is 12 and I am over 30 lets say, so that just goes to show what a good ag
...more
D'Arcy Rowe
This book is set in the future and is set around three children: Henrietta, Gary, and Rose. They are all plagued by headaches and nobody knows why they are getting them.

Everything in the future is made out of plastic: houses, books, grass. There are no trees and safety is of the utmost concern. When a child goes to school on the bus they have a lapbelt, two over the shoulder belts, and a harness for their head.

The story follows the three kids in their adventures in Henrietta's attic. Here they
...more
Jenna
'The Wikkeling' captures beautiful and terrible possibilities with the voice of a smart little girl and a not-unimaginable future. Henrietta, her friends and the world they live in are hyper-analyzed to the point of suffocation, so how could a wild animal be bleeding in the attic? Smart, funny and thought-provoking, with gorgeous illustrations, this mystery unfurls like a plant breaking through concrete: delicate, inevitable, and awesome it its smallness.
Kristin
I picked this one up because the book design was fabulous. However, there are far too many moving parts in this story for j fiction...even tho there are some really cool bits. As a whole, the book fails, in spite of moments of coolness.
r.b.
i'm excited and freaked out about this book and the potential it has to give me nightmares about creepers with really long fingers. BECAUSE HAVING REALLY LONG FINGERS IS CREEPY.
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Maybe I should just start reviewing things right after I read them ... because the whole "postponing reviews for later" thing isn't really working out for me. I don't even want to look at my "to-review" shelf but I'm pretty sure it's like almost 30 books at this point. Yikes.

Anyway, I guess I'll review this now. *Ah hem*

I purchased The Wikkeling at a used book store for like $3 a while ago. It immediately stood out to me on the bookshelf because it's a bit more square-shaped than most books. Upo
...more
Victoria Whipple
This is a hard book to describe. Henrietta is a struggling student in a school and a time when everything comes down to the standardized test. OK, so not so far flung, but I love a good satiric rip on standardized testing. Every child in this futuristic world is constantly monitored, and one wonders how the adults in the story are able to fend for not only themselves, but also their families because the children are not allowed any freedom to learn how to take care of themselves. Unless, of cour ...more
Meredith
This book started out as a 5-star delight, but lost steam as it went along. It narrowed from a witty dystopia full of social commentary and interesting story threads to a linear chase scene. If you're wondering about the attic windows, or the Wikkeling's origins, or Henrift Andi ... SPOILER ALERT ... you won't ever really get an answer. And that is incredibly frustrating.

However, I do still love the following lines, because I think American society today is so full of fear and ridiculous safegua
...more
Alice
"Henrietta is the main character of this story. This whole book will be about her—and it’s worth mentioning at the outset a few things that aren’t going to happen to her.

She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle.

She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she’s a good girl inside.

She will not find out that she’s actually a princess, and she won’t become happy forever when a prince marries her.

Those books are out there, and your school librarian
...more
Erica
Every house on Henrietta's street is identical: each one newly made of vinyl and glue with flat roofs sitting behind plastic lawns in their own soundproof and airtight cocoon. Every house, except Henrietta's. Henrietta's house is made of wood, with a sloping roof and an old-fashioned attic. Henrietta's mother thinks that it must be some contaminant in their old house that is causing Henrietta's blinding headaches. But Henrietta knows it isn't the house at all. It's the Wikkeling. Most people can ...more
Stephanie Jobe
This is not a story where the girl become beautiful or the boy gets the girl. Henrietta gets House Sick, terrible headaches because she lives in an old house, not like the nice plastic ones that have taken over the neighborhood. Things begin to change as Henrietta finally makes a friend at school and then the camera in her bedroom stops working and she finds a trapdoor to an attic where there is a wounded Wild House Cat. What does the cat's presence mean? How is the mysterious Wikkeling creature ...more
Amy
I picked up this Advance Reader Copy at ALA a few weeks ago and wasn't really sure what to expect, but I'm a sucker for images and illustrations (and free things) so I grabbed it up. And I'm glad I did.

Henrietta is a young girl in the near future, where cell phones tell parents when their children get detention, car horns emit advertisements, and health class is about how everything can (and will) kill you. But when technology in Henrietta's house (the oldest house still standing for miles aroun
...more
Asiila
I actually picked this book up for my 15 year old during a library trip. he was not interested. weeks later i found it in a pile behind his bed. realizing it was already overdue i figured somebody should at least read it. So i did. it was very intriguing, at first. It takes place in a time in the not too future where everyone is plugged in all the time, kids watched by computers or their cells in order to be kept safe, ongoing traffic jams everywhere, all houses and cars pre fabricated and the s ...more
Destinee Sutton
Henrietta Gad-Fly lives in a world where safety is the number one concern. Her school bus has not only seat belts, but head straps. Her clothes have yellow visibility stripes. Her parents can monitor her 24 hours a day via mobile phone and Bed Cam. That is, until Henrietta's Bed Cam mysteriously breaks, and her adventures into the past begin. Can she and her friends figure out why they get terrible headaches? Or what is going on with the wild house cat in Henrietta's attic? Most importantly, can ...more
Lisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
Dystopian visions fill Juvenile shelves these days, and my favorite, so far, is The Wikkeling.

With a view of the not-so-distant future (in which there is a computer on every school desk generating instant scores, indicating instant loss of funding/jobs if the scores don't measure up; constant gridlock on the highways; books as curiosities; hyper-vigilant parents, and gps devices as standard equipment in vehicles)and the author's tongue firmly in cheek, we are introduced to Henrietta Gad-Fly, a
...more
Chris
This book caught my attention the first time I saw it on the shelf, because its appearance, size, shape, art, and graphic design made it stand out. Appealingly so. That impression continued as I cracked it open, examined the interior artwork and design, and began to read. I was very happy with the beginning, intrigued by the somewhat mysterious story, engaged by the vaguely strange tone, and amused by the clever social commentary.

However, the further I read, the less impressed I became. The more
...more
Ti
The Short of It:

The world that Arnston creates is both scary and magical but most of all…fun.

The Rest of It:

Many of you following me on Facebook or Twitter have probably heard me say (more than once) that The Wikkeling was “strange.” When I first started to read it, I could not shake the creep factor. The cover is freaky and the book itself is not a traditional size. It’s wider, includes lots of handwrtitten script and has creepy illustrations of people without faces. BUT, once I got past the sl
...more
Zarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
This one takes a different spin on the "apocalyptic future" concept in junior & young adult fiction. Instead of a dark, sinister world, Henrietta and her friends live in an ultra-safe, ultra-sterile, ultra-modern place where computers rule. While most of the city is new and high-tech, some remnants of the Old Town remain, such as the houses where two of the main characters live. These old homes seem to hold the key to the mystery of "The Wikkeling."

I gave this one 4 stars because there were
...more
Tracey
children's fantasy with sci-fi elements (time travel, futuristic technology, computers possessed by mysterious entities). Original and very spooky. MUCH scarier than Coraline was, would definitely recommend to kids who want more horror in their books.
Lisa
Henrietta is always being watched through her cell phone or web cam as are all the other kids in her society. Henrietta is different though because she lives in the old city. Most kids live in the addition with it's new and plastic houses, lawns, and roads. Henrietta house is made the old way out of wood and brick. She gets terrible headaches which she believes are a result of living in such an old house. Then she meets two friends who also live in the old city. Together they learn what is makin ...more
Ellen
A chilling, scary, and entertaining story. Set in a future where people live in new plastic houses, are constantly following the rules, and children are always kept safe, Henrietta is a loner and doesn't quite fit in. Her parents live in an ancient house, the kind with a pitched roof, and Henrietta doesn't do well at her demanding school, where her strange headaches make it hard to focus.

One evening, while doing homework in her room, drops of blood fall from the ceiling and with a little explor
...more
Bianca Singh
This book is AMAZING!It's about these 3 children who get headaches every once and awhile. Thats when they find out who's causing it. THE WIKKELING! A tall man with a disturbing face and wears yellow clothing. When they figure more about it, they find out that nobody else can see it but them! Plus, this creature, when children walk by, it taps them. Whenever THE WIKKELING touches them, they grow a headache and taped again, they fall to the floor unable to wake up. When one of the children find a ...more
Ms. Lib
Compelling for its combination of creepy and humorous. The themes of digital culture and social control are not subtle. There are plucky main characters, a mysterious past, exotic creatures, adventure, and elements of horror. I gasped more than once out of fear and guffawed many times at the ridiculous economic engine of this world. Actually, the advertising methods alone are the real scare as they seem right on the edge of reality.

At times it felt rushed where I wanted more depth to the story
...more
Rachael Ricker (Myers)
To be fair, I may have loved this more if I had read it all the way through. I got about 3/4 finished and then I had to read some other books and when I picked the Wikkeling back up, it was hard to get back into it. I loved the way the author crafted a frightening, not-too-distant-future world where you slowly pick up on how slightly 'off' things are in Henrietta's world. Something about the atmosphere reminded me of Skellig and even Fahrenheit 451 at times. The end was not great though- there w ...more
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