Liza Gilbert's Reviews > The Mysterious Howling

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
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's review
May 01, 2010

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bookshelves: chapter-books

Penelope, age 15, becomes the governess for three children who have been raised by wolves. Literally kept in a barn, Penelope coaxes them inside and introduces them to food, clothing, and general hygiene.

There are lots of moments for humor (what would you, for example, do with pants if you had never seen them before?) but some of it just plain seems offensive. Children running around on all fours, licking and biting people, and asking for their bellies to be rubbed is a bit much after a while, and since there really are cases of children being raised in the wild, it seems insensitive and insulting.

Despite all of this, Wood has crafted some interesting characters (including a squirrel) and the tension mounts toward the second book in the series. I read the book all the way through, and I am considering whether or not to read the second.

However, there are multiple confusions in this text. The book hasn't decided whether it wants to be Lemony Snicket, Charles Addams, or Charles Dickens. It also hasn't decided what age range it wants to target: the protagonist is 15 and the language is in the teen realm, but the children are in the 8-10 range. It's vaguely historical, but not really, and where is there supposed to be a sense of "somewhere out there" - ness I mostly get aggravation at the text.
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Reading Progress

05/01/2010 page 90
33.71% "15 yr old girl becomes governess for 3 kids raised by wolves. Odd."

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