Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1)” as Want to Read:
The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Crooked Sixpence

(The Uncommoners #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,131 ratings  ·  345 reviews
Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems…

When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush.

Ivy and Seb
ebook, US edition, 320 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers (first published June 2nd 2016)
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 Crooked Sixpence, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Noya There is a third book as well called the frozen telescope

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,131 ratings  ·  345 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1)

What a delightful surprise this book was! Having seen it as a Waterstones' children book of the month, I thought I would give it a try, but I never expected this!

First of all, this is not a story of kids at school a la Harry Potter. Imagine instead something not unlike Diagon Alley and London Below, but incredibly bigger and with more depth. Then add every day items, such as combs, toilet brushes, bells, that have some very unusual properties and uses: a candle that makes you invisible; a sui
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Middle grade, or children's, fantasy is one of my favorite genres. Unfortunately, it is a genre that runs hot and cold. There are really bad books out there that belittle readers, follow a format/template, or just are not that great. For every bad book out there, there is that one gem that is amazing. I read numerous children's fantasy books a year looking for that one gem. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don't. This year, I found one early on – The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell.

Marie the Librarian
4,5 stars! This is such a fun and interesting fantasynovel! Its funny, has heartwarming characters and lots of twists and turns! So creative and imaginative! It gave me Dahl vibes as well as fairytale vibes! Looking forward to more of this series!
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-releases
Can we stop comparing every middle grade book to Harry Potter? Can we stop comparing every young adult book to Twilight or The Hunger Games? Cuz that would be great. The Goodreads book page for The Crooked Sixpence is littered with negative reviews and one star ratings comparing this book to Harry Potter. I suspect most of them are sock puppets, but even so, why do people do this? Because a book shares a few tropes, reviews accuse the author of plagiarism, when really, the book is nothing like H ...more
Alisha Marie
I really wanted to like The Crooked Sixpence. I mean, it has a blurb from the author of The School for Good and Evil, which is a book I really enjoyed (despite not being a huge fan of middle grade novels) AND it's being compared to JK Rowling. I thought I would enjoy this one. Unfortunately for me, this didn't really happen.

The Good: I thought Ivy was feisty and I really like that in a heroine. The world building in The Crooked Sixpence was extremely elaborate and very few aspects were brushed o
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, purge, for-review
This review originally appeared on my blog,


THE CROOKED SIXPENCE is the first in a new middle grade fantasy series. The cover blurb calls it “part Tim Burton, part J.K. Rowling,” and I have to say, I agree 100% with that.

From the first page, I was swept along with Ivy into Lundinor, a secret city. In Lundinor, Ivy encounters common objects, such as suitcases or belts, that have uncommon abilities. You travel to another place in a suitcase and belts carry you in the air. It’s like m
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good, hit all the right spots & did fill the Hogwarts hole for a read.
Ivy, 11 & her brother Seb, 14 are in hospital after their granma has a fall. The parents are on their way from jobs in London so the children go home... only to find the smell of wet dog in the house & 2 men arriving carrying what can only be described as toilet brushes?!
Yes, of course I was hooked. I had no idea what was going to happen next everything was crazy and new. Travelling through bags Ivy & Seb find themselve
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a kid's book for years but picked this up and thoroughly enjoyed it. My other book wasn't read in my lunch hour because of The Crooked Sixpence! The Uncommoners has a feel of Harry Potter, as entertaining as the boy wizard and highly readable. However, there isn't a wizard or wand in sight, and no magic! Instead there are common and uncommon objects and common and uncommon people. The uncommoners operate under the city of London buying and selling, mixing with ghouls, spirits and ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People in general!
>[List of food in this book]<


UPDATES: Important notice! I was right that something wrong was going on. Previously there were around 600+ ratings, with the average going as low as 3.14; I've sent in a report to GR cuz I feel like I was actually a great mount of spam accounts doing damage, which was confirmed. GR has removed the spam accounts. As of the point of this update, we have 490+ ratings with the average being 3.80. See how big of a difference it made? I'll be keeping my ra
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Wacky and wonderful, this book is a great adventure and mystery packaged in a beautifully illustrated cover!
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First, I have to thank the lovely bookseller at Waterstones who recommended this book to me on my last trip to Amsterdam!
I really loved the world-building in this one! The characters were awesome and the dynamic between them made this book a very nice and compelling read.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-jar-draw
As middle grade books go this one was very good. I think I lack the imagination to visualize all the weird and magical elements of the story. I appreciated the magical undead very much.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher

Ivy's grandmother was in an auto accident on Twelfth Night in 1969, which left her with retrograde amnesia. This hasn't affected Ivy and her brother Seb's life much, although they are familiar with the story, and with the only photograph her grandma Sylvie has from before. When Sylvie falls and has to go to the hospital, odd things start to happen. Creepy people show up at the hospital, and Ivy and Seb end up getting sucked through a suitcase into an alternate London
Kate (infinitelynovel)
I don't usually read middle grade, but I couldn't resist the allure of this book's jacket. Such a charming little book, full to the brim with adventure, magic, and intrigue. It has a teeny tiny Harry Potter vibe to it which I loved! Can't wait to read more in this series.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone who is willing to find out about a world that is much more uncommon than our own.
Ruby Granger
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Rather easy but wonderful. It actually reminded me of Harry Potter in places (in the quaint antiquity of the traders' market) and so I recommend it to the potterheads!
Carina Olsen
I enjoyed this book a lot. That cover is stunning, and the book was amazing inside too. I didn't fully love it, so I'm giving it three stars, but there were parts that I loved a lot. I found the story to be so good and interesting and I wanted to know more so badly. I will be reading the next books in this series for sure. So excited.

I found the writing in this to be great. I enjoyed it at all times. And the characters were awesome. I liked Ivy and her brother Seb a whole bunch. There were thing
Belles Middle Grade Library
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this today, & wow!! Before reading Wonderscape, I wanted to read her first series that she wrote. The first book was AMAZING! So different! I loved everything about it! And Scratch has my heart & soul! Lol Such a great mystery...I didn’t know what was going to happen, & I didn’t want to put it down. Love this cover too of course!!😍😍 HIGHLY recommend! Can’t wait to start the 2nd book later today!!💜💜

Synopsis of 1st book in series: Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems
Lauren  Shortle
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so magical, you really felt close to the main characters Ivy was so brave considering how old she was, it had twists it had scary moments in it my heart was really pumping in certain aspects of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!
Jatin Tanotra
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This book have some incredible ideas and a amazing story. Well, I dont feel attachment to any character but I will read further parts.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The first thing that really struck me while reading The Uncommoner's was the cover, I really love the color scheme and how it alludes to some darkness. It's also easy to notice the similarities it shares to the Harry Potter series, invisibility item, a manor that will reveal itself only to a member of the family and maps that show you the location of people to name a few. Yet, there are differences as well. There's no Hogwarts School of Magic, and really no wands or magic per se. There is a worl ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
First thought: This is surprisingly darker than the cover and description would have you believe; a bit like Neil Gaiman before he started sucking.


I really loved the world building in this, that when we die parts of our souls live on through our beloved objects and turn them into something magical, something 'uncommon.' The sheer scope of imagination and how inventive every use for otherwise mundane objects was truly delightful, I especially loved the buttons that could heal people, with each
Ryn Lewis
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
When Granma Sylvie takes a fall and is rushed to the hospital, Ivy and her brother Seb have no way of knowing their world is about to change. Within hours, the siblings are tumbled into the strange and secret world of Lundinor, a world where uncommon versions of everyday objects can do any number of magical things. The world that Granma Sylvie came from, that she can’t remember, and that wants something she took from it very, very badly. Soon Ivy and Seb are in a race against the clock with the ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
The only thing that kept me going through this book (besides my stubbornness) was "literally anything could happen and I want to know what shit the author threw together to get this published" It's like. Really bad fanfiction about misused muggle artefacts that weren't reported. All these random details and pointless twists and fucking ~toilet brushes as weapons lololol so funnyyyy~ ugh.
Protagonist was just so slow (like, slower than Harry), and like I said before there were zero likeable chara
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across the cover illustrator's art on tumblr a couple weeks ago, saw he was illustrating this book, then came across a free advance copy at a work conference, and naturally, had to pick it up.

The world Jennifer Bell created is quirky and original and fun. The main character reminds me of a young Hermione Granger, but less smart-alecky. Some parts were a little predictable, other parts had me guessing wrong. It sets up neatly for a series - it's a planned trilogy, and goes along at a nice
I think that fans of Harry Potter will find this book a little too familiar and predictable. However, for those readers that haven't made it to HP yet, this would be a good book. The story is fast paced and takes a lot of twists and turns. I wish this was written for an older audience because I wanted more detail and complexity. I really did enjoy the world and how things worked.
I can't do it anymore. DNF @ 68%.

For more thoughts on this book and other reviews, head over to The Pretty Good Gatsby!
Laurène Poret
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kids
What a great read! I loved immersing myself in this world. Awesome first book.
Sarah Driver
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Crooked Sixpence is an enchanting, original tale bursting with empathy. It's a cracking start to what promises to be a brilliant, well-loved series. The protagonist is Ivy Sparrow, a kind girl with a strong sense of her own values. Ivy has unruly brown hair, yellow wellies and a quietly confident, positive, problem-solving attitude. Of course, there are many, many different types of 'strong female character' (a term I am not a particular fan of) and Ivy is definitely one of them.
From the mo
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ado-livre

On the cover, it says “part Tim Burton, part J.K. Rowling”. I think that’s a perfect description of this novel. Take the first Harry Potter book, when young Harry discovers the magical world and all its wonders, add a bit of Burton’s signature creepiness and you’ll have The Uncommoners.

There are many similarities between the uncommoners and the wozarding worlds. Lundinor is some sort of city-wide Diagon Alley, where trading replaces money. There are 4 Grandmasters, as there are 4 Hogwarts hou
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
[ SPOILERS ] The Ending {some questions} 2 11 Feb 12, 2019 08:25AM  
The Crooked Sixpence 2 13 Jun 15, 2017 09:50AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ivy (Ivy, #1)
  • Shadowsea (The Cogheart Adventures, #4)
  • Skycircus (The Cogheart Adventures, #3)
  • The Vanishing Trick
  • The Battle for Perfect (Perfect, #3)
  • WildSpark
  • Brightstorm
  • A Sprinkle of Sorcery (A Pinch of Magic, #2)
  • The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library
  • Gargantis (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea, #2)
  • The Dreamsnatcher (Dreamsnatcher #1)
  • The Train to Impossible Places: A Cursed Delivery (A Train to impossible places, #1)
  • Moonlocket (The Cogheart Adventures, #2)
  • The Land of Roar
  • Dirt
  • Amelia Fang and the Half-Moon Holiday (The Amelia Fang Series)
  • Rumblestar
  • Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
See similar books…
Londoner Jennifer Bell began working in children’s books as a specialist bookseller at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, one of the world’s most famous bookstores. After having the privilege of listening to children talk about their favorite books for many years, she started writing a book of her own on her lunch breaks.

For other authors with the same name, see Jennifer^^Bell.

Other books in the series

The Uncommoners (3 books)
  • The Smoking Hourglass (The Uncommoners #2)
  • The Frozen Telescope (The Uncommoners #3)

Related Articles

Children's books featuring bold and brave girls are both becoming easier for parents to find, and also cover a large range of ...
127 likes · 43 comments
“You're a little trickier....” Johnny Hands narrowed his eye at Ivy. “Something small like you, perhaps? Or something quick and lethal?”

Lethal? Ivy couldn't believe he was saying this. She was eleven. What did she want with a lethal weapon?”
More quotes…