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

The Crooked Sixpence

(The Uncommoners #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,687 ratings  ·  404 reviews
When Ivy Sparrow’s grandmother Sylvie is rushed to hospital, Ivy and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what lies in store for them. Returning to Sylvie’s house, they find it has been ransacked by unknown intruders – then a mysterious feather scratches an ominous message onto the kitchen wall, and a very strange policeman is determined to apprehend them . . . with ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 2nd 2016 by Corgi Childrens
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
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,687 ratings  ·  404 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Crooked Sixpence
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it

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.

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
Marie the Librarian
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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!
Ruby Granger
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
How fun! The whole concept of common and uncommon was so cool. I had a jolly good time with this! 🖤
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
For me this book was an amazing surprise! It was a mix of Alice in Wonderland, Nevermoor, and I will never look at a toilet brush the same way!

I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for an adventure, with kids discovering a world totally different to their but not that far away, with random and ordinary objects hiding secret powers, with a family secret AND with villains!

Will continue with the series!
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ms. Yingling
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone who is willing to find out about a world that is much more uncommon than our own.
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
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
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-by-me
I thought this book was very creative and had a very unique one of a kind plot. I’ll be honest tho, this book took me a while to really get into it, but I don’t think that is the books fault I just haven’t been in that much of a reading groove lately. I can’t decide if I want this to have a 3 or 4 star rating, so I’ll settle on 3.5. Overall good book I recommend but definitely not a favorite of mine.
Jatin Tanotra
This book have some incredible ideas and a amazing story. Well, I dont feel attachment to any character but I will read further parts.
Bill Lyons
Aug 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read. Setting it up as filling a Harry Potter void led to disappointment at first, and does the book a disservice. After realizing this is a very different kind of fantasy the disappointment wore off and I could enjoy the book on its own merits. Beware the intensity of the battles if you are considering this for younger kids. I plan to red the next book in the series.
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
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! I read it when I was younger, and I found Lundinor so cute and so clever and intriguing. I loved how some uncommon objects did the same things that common ones did, but a different interpretation (for example, common and uncommon belts hold things up, but common ones hold up clothing and uncommon ones literally flew and held people up into the air). It was so clever, and this book means a lot to me. It’s a one for younger kids, but I really love it!
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. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
[ SPOILERS ] The Ending {some questions} 2 15 Feb 12, 2019 08:25AM  
The Crooked Sixpence 2 13 Jun 15, 2017 09:50AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Train to Impossible Places (The Train to Impossible Places, #1)
  • The Haunting of Peligan City (Potkin and Stubbs #2)
  • Escape From Aurora (Frostheart #2)
  • The Great Brain Robbery (The Train to Impossible Places, #2)
  • Darkwhispers
  • Brightstorm
  • Potkin and Stubbs (Potkin and Stubbs #1)
  • The Hatmakers
  • A Wolf for a Spell
  • The Polar Bear Explorers' Club
  • The Ocean Squid Explorers' Club (The Explorers' Club #4)
  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency (Strangeworlds Travel Agency #1)
  • Ghostcatcher (Potkin and Stubbs, #3)
  • The Griffin Gate
  • The Miracle on Ebenezer Street
  • A Tangle of Spells (A Pinch of Magic, #3)
  • Frostheart (Frostheart #1)
  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
46 likes · 63 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?”
“Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems.” 0 likes
More quotes…