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The League of Beastly Dreadfuls

(The League of Beastly Dreadfuls #1)

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,132 ratings  ·  224 reviews
A creepy Victorian house, secretive aunties, and a great escape combine in this debut that is part Mysterious Benedict Society, part Roald Dahl. Join the League. . . .

Anastasia is a completely average almost-eleven-year-old. That is, UNTIL her parents die in a tragic vacuum-cleaner accident. UNTIL she’s rescued by two long-lost great-aunties. And UNTIL she’s taken to
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published February 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  1,132 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
When Anastasia's parents are killed in a freak vacuum-cleaner accident, she's carted away by two aunties she never knew she had to a spooky Victorian house, once known as St. Agony's Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Before long, Anastasia discovers a mystery that needs solving and begins to suspect her aunties are up to something sinister.

The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is good for a chuckle and exhibits a sense of humor suitable for its intended audience:

[Anastasia] had a terrible sensation
Cameron Chaney
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I say it often, and I'll say it again: this is a book I picked up during a slow day on the Bookmobile. I'm always just grabbing books that I happen upon on the job and I'm often surprised by how enjoyable they are. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is another one of those books.

This is the first book in a planned series, and I'll definitely be picking up book 2. The story took me back to the good ol' days of reading Roald Dahl novels in the summertime while I was a kid. They were filled with
M. Lauritano
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Does anyone out there have that one weird acquaintance who seems unable to take anything seriously? He or she is constantly making jokes of varying quality, has a handful of quirky catchphrases, or sometimes tries on a foreign accent for frustratingly long periods of time? He or she loves acting out other comedian's material until they receive a reaction. This person is mostly harmless, but is so desperate for laughter and attention that you often feel as if you are being battered over the head ...more
3.5 stars. Light and silly and definitely feels influenced by Ronald Dahl and a little bit of Edward Gorey. The old ladies who kidnap Anastasia are suitably awful, and the house they live in is terribly grim. Anastasia is plucky and thanks to her mystery novel reading and her desire to be a detective veterinarian artist, finds clues to what her situation is at the creepy, mouldy house, as well as the means to escape it with two other boys trapped there. There is a mystery still about Anastasia’s ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Copy received from the publisher

When Anastasia's father and hypochondriac mother are injured in a vacuum cleaner accident, she is spirited away by her "great aunties", Prim and Prudence, to their home, the former St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane, which has somehow retained its Victorian qualities. The great aunts (who don't dress like any 80 year olds I know) keep Anastasia few with Mysterious Lumps and make her sleep in a damp bedroom where there are horrifically scary noises. Soon,
Brenda A
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comic-con-2015
Another meh book for me. It was reallllllly slow going at first. There was a lot about how Anastasia was sad in the new house, and the aunties were cackling meanies. Lots and lots of pages about eating mystery lumps, and being locked away in her room.

Once we finally meet the other boys, we meet them for maybe a page before Anastasia freaks out and runs away from them, and then we're back to more dreary pages for a while.

The ending was cool, and I liked the little twist. It was kind of too little
“A marvelously funny mystery that feels refreshingly original while yet channeling the best of Dahl’s characters and Grimm in storytelling.”-my staff rec at work.

Have you noticed how difficult it is for an author to pull off the Dahl-esque; especially American authors? Holly Grant is marvelously Dahl-esque in The League of Beastly Dreadfuls. But that isn’t the only reason to pick up your own copy. Grimm came to mind, for instance. But for all the fond reminiscence of favorite childhood
Teresa Scherping Moulton
Anastasia is a perfectly normal almost-eleven-year-old living a perfectly normal life. That is, until she is pulled out of class one day at school and told that her parents have been severely injured in a freak vacuum-cleaner accident and her two great-aunts are there to take care of her. Anastasia had no idea that she had two great-aunts, but before she knows it she is being driven far away to their strange house, the former St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane, and locked in her ...more
Heather Gunnell
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I just keep finding new middle grade series that I must follow, my dear lovely readers. This first book of the The League of Beastly Dreadfuls had me turning the pages because, like Anastasia, I had frightful premonitions of what was to come for her. If you enjoy or have readers who enjoy Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, this books has a very similar feel to it. Happily, there's a little less doom and gloom to be had here.

Mysteries abound throughout this story and I look forward
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Anastasia McCrumpet is not having a great first day of school. It gets even worse when she is pulled from class and sent off with her great-aunts Prim and Prue who she has never met. She is told her parents where in a vacuum cleaner accident and she is now going to live with the aunts at their classic Victorian asylum. Anastasia finds herself locked in a dreary room at night where she has to use a chamber pot and doing chores like collecting leeches during the day. Who are these aunts? Why do ...more
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full of adventure and excitement, The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is a fast-paced and highly entertaining read. The story mixes the perfect amount of dark and quirky with comic relief and enjoyable characters. The writing flows wonderfully and pulls the reader in expertly, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.

Anastasia is a fantastic, clever heroine who knows how use her mind as her most powerful weapon. She is surrounded by mysteries, and she does her best to uncover what is
Small Review
Apr 11, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF. SO disappointing! The first half was ok. Mostly fun and slightly charming with short paragraphs and characters and a story that never fully got off the ground but was still engaging enough. Then. Halfway through a supernatural element and new characters were introduced and it just feels silly and like it doesn't fit. This book was shaping up to be a 3 star read (nice, but nothing amazing) and I would have finished it, but with this new stuff it's just not strong enough to bother with ...more
THE LEAGUE OF BEASTLY DREADFULS by Holly Grant is the first book in a new Victorian era fantasy series featuring quirky characters, creepy settings, and a daring escape.

After being told that her parents have been in an accident, Anastasia is forced to live with two strange old ladies that claim to be her long lost great aunts. She is soon immersed in a demented world of mystery and suspense with a hint of horror. This bizarre fantasy will appeal to children who enjoy witty, dark humor.

From the
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This book started out so intriguing - I loved the quirky voice but thought "this might be too much quirky for over 200 pages." And it reminded me of James and the Giant Peach mixed with The Bad Beginning, but trying too hard to be those things.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
DNF'd at 70%. Too immature for me.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, awesome
This book was much better than I expected.
Melissa T
This is a cute little story packed with action. I like Anastasia's character, her love of libraries, reading and Francie Dewdrop mysteries.

That being said, there are a lot of pieces of this story that seem to come out of nowhere and don't make sense. Also there is a TON of breaking the fourth wall. Which is super annoying. The author did this in a way that I think was trying to be cutesy and helpful, in explaining larger vocabulary, since this is meant to be for younger kids.

It would have been
Jim Sibigtroth
This book is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's "James and the Giant Peach" and Lemony Snicket's "Series of Unfortunate Events". That is a positive recommendation, but some of the facts, phrases, and characters are almost too similar. For example, this quote ... "No, dear Reader, it was a premonition of doom. (Or, in simple language, a strong feeling that something nasty was about to happen. And boy, was she right.)"... sounds almost too much like the narrator from Snicket's Unfortunate Events. And ...more
Anushka R.
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! Not only were the protagonists great but even the villains were wonderfully developed as well! This author leaves me hungry for about Anastasia and the rest of the Beastly Dreadfuls, and I hope to read the sequels soon!
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Bought this in a dollar store while vacationing. It starts off a little slow but then takes off half way. Very silly nonsense throughout. The pictures make it come more alive too.
Dianna Winget
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A deliciously fun, silly, slightly spooky adventure story! Makes me want to read book two.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
We didn't love this one. It did feel like Lemony Snicket meets Miss P's home for Peculiar children...with the humor of Captain Underpants. It was....odd. 4th grade daughter's opinion after finding out there was a second book was "it was okay, but I don't really want to read any more of them." There was some fun dialog and it's an interesting story idea just felt like the author was obviously influenced by too many other authors.
Becky B
Anastasia McCrumpet is busy being an average student at school when she is dragged out of class by the monobrowed secretary and handed over to two old ladies who claim to be her great-aunts Prim and Prudence. They tell her that her father and mother have been in a terrible vaccuum cleaner accident, and take her home to their cozy little old Victorian insane asylum (which they got at a very good price). Prim and Prude keep Anastasia busy dusting cobwebs and scrubbing chamber pots in their dreary ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately I was unimpressed with this book. The plot was disjointed and confusing. The treatment of the mentally ill was disturbing. And the continual association of ugly women with literal evil really, really turned me off.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a fun book! It's rare now that I want to continue with a series, but this is one I just might have to! The story ends wrapped up enough that you aren't left angry, but with a number of lingering questions- most importantly, WHAT is Anastasia and why is she considered a threat by the Watchers? I really enjoyed the characters of Quentin and Ollie as well. I felt like Holly Grant did a good job of capturing a child's belief that they can be anything, and multiple things all at once. I ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bed-time, 2015
This was a really fun read-aloud. My kids haven't laughed so hard at a book in a long time. It is exciting to know that it is a part of a series because I still have so many questions about what happens to the characters. I also loved that I had to keep a dictionary close at hand while reading, it helped with learning some new vocabulary words.
Amanda Blanco
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
The story was cute, but it could have been about 50 pages shorter. I did love the role that the librarian plays in the story though!
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book. I think the kids in it are very funny.
Kimberley Little
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this clever, witty, and funny book! Add some shivers, delicious writing, and some "ghosts" and you have a winner.
Kimberly Wargin
If you are the type of reader who is immediately pulled in by a book cover, then this is the book for you! Read at your own risk...
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