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The Wonderling

(The Wonderling #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,405 ratings  ·  312 reviews
Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!

Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cun
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Candlewick Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,405 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Beth Cato
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a galley of this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This was not a final version of the book, and many of the illustrations were not yet included; the ones that were there were lovely.

My feelings on this book are mixed. Wonderling creates a Dickensian-like world where sentient half-human, half-animal groundlings are treated as lesser citizens. There are steampunk inventions and magic and ancient beings. Against this backdrop, a one-eared fox groundling dubbed 13 endures endless a
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Miss Carbunkles Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures is an austere orphanage, Groundling children restrained within the oppressive, debilitated compound, labouring for their survival. Number Thirteen is a misbegotten, lonely, one eared Foxling, gallant and courageous as he encounters a small, flightless feathered friend. Trinket is an wondrous inventor, sharing stories of fantastical worlds of knights and kingdoms, declaring Thirteen shall now be known as Arthur for his bravery, the little ...more
Annette Hughes
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Magical, heartwarming yet scary, this tale of Arthur, an endearing one-eared fox/human and his intrepid inventor friend, Trinket, and their escape from Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures (!). I never knew what was coming next, but felt completely at home in this alternate Dickensian world. The writing is beautiful, and the ilustrations promise to be classic. A gem not to be missed! ...more
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
My 70th read of the year, which I gave 4.25 stars! My Video Review

I received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book from Candlewick Press, and it comes out on September 26th! I loved loved loved it.

The Wonderling is a middle grade steampunk fantasy with elements of adventure. We follow a sweet and shy young groundling (who is part fox and part human) who doesn't have a name, and is referred to as Number 13. Our one-eared protagonist is living in a horrific, oppressive orphanage when an act
Alice, as in Wonderland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victor The Reader
The Wonderling: My Kindle Review

A very intriguing and otherworldly fable that follows a one eared foxling 🐶 who lives under a strict and depressing orphanage for wonderlings like him, but he gets a chance for a new life when he makes a new friend 🐦. Arthur's story is one that definitely blends many similar themes found from other children's books. It does drag a bit while leaving the story a bit empty, yet it's still a wonderful tale about friendship and good vs evil. B+ (83%/Very Good)
Shay Dawn
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: g, fantasy, children
Reading Rush #3:

Good Things:
Mira Bartok *le author* is very good at describing scenery and imagery. She does a wonderful job conveying not only the physicality of a place but the sentiment to go with it. The book rings of childhood and would be a wonderful story to read to children one chapter at a time. If I were a kid, this would get 5 stars from me. Mira Bartok understands what kids want to read about, and she doesn't shy away from including everything that would delight kids from 3-10 years
Carrie ReadingtoKnow
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mira Bartok knows how to tell a very, very good story. I read this book aloud with my kids and we thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Well written (a story for story sake!) with engaging characters, this book is a rare treat.

The point of the book is to be a beauty seeker, desiring truth above all else. No objections to that message. Read it! I don't want to spoil it with a lot of explanation. It's good. That's all.
Mary Ann
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3rd, 4th, animals, fantasy, 5th
Lonely, shy, scared. The orphaned groundling Number 13 doesn’t have a name until he finds a friend in Trinket, a small wingless bird with a big heart.

Can they escape evil Miss Carbunkle’s orphanage? Will they find their families? A delightful fantasy full of adventure.
Stefan Bachmann
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Charming and heartfelt and leisurely in the best way, full of asides and footnotes and illustrations. A book to be savored.
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Beautifully designed and printed book, when I come around to reading this I know it is going to be just 'wonderling'! Won in the Goodreads Giveaways. ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The hardcover edition of this book is beautiful, both the cover and the inside pages and illustrations. So if you are planning on purchasing this book, I highly recommend buying the hardcover edition. With that being said, this was an enjoyable middle grade fantasy book that I think can be enjoyed by all ages. I really enjoyed the author's writing, it is quite beautiful and she had created quite the magical world. This book also deals with issues such courage and learning to find a sense of belo ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Mira Bartók invites us into a fantastical world where readers follow Number 13, also known as Arthur, as he goes on a quest to discover who he is and what his purpose is. Readers meet so many misbegotten creatures along the way - it’s an adventure readers will enjoy and be enthralled in until the end.
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was delighted with this book about a half-human, half-fox orphan in search of a destiny beyond the four walls of his grim orphanage. Known only as Number 13, the Wonderling is forced to work in the orphanage factory, until a new friend, a tiny bird creature named Trinket, convinces him to escape into the wide world and seek his destiny in the big city.

In this world, there are humans, regular animals, and human/animal hybrids named "groundlings". Groundlings can speak and act like humans, but t
Maureen Lubitz
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on You Have Your Hands Full

The Wonderling is a middle grade novel written and illustrated by Mira Bartok. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I have three girls in the middle grade range, and I knew this book would appeal to them.

Arthur is a young fox groundling (a sort of anthropomorphic animal). He lives in an orphanage with other groundlings, ruled by the cruel Miss Carbunkle, who metes out punishments to maintain order and has placed a perman
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, mg
In a nutshell: Just wonderful!

I was drawn to the The Wonderling by the gorgeous illustrations. Though there were many illustrations throughout, I wished there were many more. I loved them.

Before he becomes Arthur, he is simply known as 13. He is lonely, and constantly being picked on, only has one ear and not a a single friend. He can't remember his family and hates being a number. His life is miserable in the home for misbegotten creatures. The home is run by the evil Miss Carbunkle who belie
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I struggle with this one. It was highly recommended by my former children's lit professor, so it hurts to give it an unenthusiastic review.

It's a story about an orphaned groundling - a cute mix of child and fuzzy animal. Of course, they are horribly oppressed and discriminated against. The protagonist is a fox groundling, and he lives in a very cruel orphanage, oppressed by a shrill red-wigged woman. He goes by Thirteen, his orphan number, until he makes his first friend and she dubs him Arthur
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Grim, but beautiful like a mix of fairy tales, Oliver Twist, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Arthur's story is realistic and filled with hope in times of darkness. I like that Arthur didn't end up becoming a messiah figure like many other fantasy books. He has a few extra skills, but his greatest strength comes from his ability to see the good in others. He trusts those of whom people are usually suspicious of, and he remains truthful and polite. He's not the stereotypical sly fox, which is ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-ya
"The Wonderling", opens with an anthropomorphised fox-like animal and what appears to be a pastoral version of Victorian England.

In the first page, of the first chapter, we see the imaginative names and elaborate sentence structure. And therefore begins an entertaining adventure that reads as Dickens would. It's filled with breathtaking pages and the illustrations will be done in duotone.

Bottom Line: I am in I could sing all day about it. It's like a combination of my favor
Pamela  (Here to Read Books and Chew Gum)
The Wonderling had a lovely Dickensian atmosphere with fantastic illustrations. What it didn't have was a protagonist with any backbone. Things happen to Arthur. He has no personal impact on the way the story develops. The illustrations alone is enough to get people excited. But as for the story itself? The best I can say is that it was fine. ...more
Sophie Crane
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, giveaway
A wonderful wonderful book that your child will adore. I cannot recommend this book enough, it should be read out loud for all to enjoy.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This review and others posted over at my blog.

This is an adorable middle-grade fronted by a timid character who learns to stand up for himself and embrace his hidden talents.

I was initially drawn in by the fox on the cover. Number Thirteen, or Arthur, is a charming character and I enjoyed watching him overcome his timidity. He also makes an incredible number of stupid mistakes, but when you think about the fact that he’s around eleven or so and has been trapped in what is essentiall
Johanna (booksiseeloveandread)
I finally finished the Wonderling by Mira Bartok! It took me an enormous amount of time just because I had essay deadlines, and then I had to study for exams, and coursework just kept piling on and keeping me from finishing this book. I have finally done so though, and it did not disappoint!

The characters are very endearing and likeable. I fell in love with Number Thirteen during the first ten pages, and wanted to give him the home he so desperately seeks and give him a life-supply of pies. The
Bran Pendergrass
I received a copy of this ARC from Netgalley and Candlewick Press publishing house in exchange for an honest review.
his was not a final version of the book, and many of the illustrations were not provided; the few that were had been artfully crafted to follow the story. There were also a few grammar issues that I hoped they ironed out prior to publishing the full novel.
I did not fall in love with the story like I had hoped that I would. The main character is humanoid fox named 13 who las long b
Alec Hastings
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Wonderling is described as a book for young people (10 to 14, I think), but it is one of those "cross-over" books that readers of all ages can enjoy if they love a truly magical tale. Number Thirteen has been orphaned and lives at Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, a gloomy, gothic mansion that has seen better days and is more prison than orphanage. He is a groundling, part human and part animal, a creature who can talk and walk upright but who has the form of a fox ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Wonderling
Written and illustrated by: Mira Bartok

I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

"We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams."
Quote from: Arthur O'Shaughnessy, "Ode"

"You are the Wonderling. It is your destiny. You must sing to the lonely, comfort the frightened, awaken the love in sleeping hearts."
Quote from Mom to Arthur

Number 13 is a groundling (part human, part animal). He has just one gorgeously foxy ear. He lives in a horrible ins
Ezgi ☕️
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways, audible, own
This book reminds me of Oliver Twist. I really like how the characters emerge from a desperate environment, how the story folds in front of our eyes.. but part of the mystery stays until the very end. I loved the friendship between Arthur (aka Wonderling, 13..) and Trinket. Trinket is full of adventure and loves taking risks. She really believes in her abilities and the best of people. Arthur- due to the life he suffered- is scared to take the chance. This aspect of the book reminded me a lot ab ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
He’s been known by many names, including Arthur, Spike, and Number Thirteen. A little hybrid creature known as a groundling, Arthur has lived his whole life in an orphanage, under the control of a cruel headmistress. When he and a friend get a chance to escape, they take it — but where will they go? Arthur hopes to find answers about his past, but it’s a long way to the city where he was born, and many dangers await him there.

I wanted to like this book, but it never grabbed me. I read the first
Sonja P.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-favorites
I thought this was really delightful. First of all, Mira Bartok's illustrations are so lovely, and so perfect for the book and I find it amazing when an author writes and illustrates their own books. This follows Number 13-a fox groundling who is stuck in a wayward home for misbegotten creatures as he finds his name, his hope, and friendship. It is full of adventure and journeys and discovery, and it feels very much like my favorite books when I was younger. It talks a lot about how some people ...more
Annalise Nakoneczny
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I absolutely judged this book by its cover because the cover is beautiful. The story is very sweet and emotional, but the characters don't have a lot of development, and I felt that the plot didn't really start until the last fourth of the book. I wasn't super engaged, sadly, but this is a story for small children. Personally, I believe that our children deserve excellent stories, fleshed out worlds, and developed characters, but this story had a good message and some solid basics. (Also this on ...more
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Mira Bartok is the author and illustrator of The Wonderling (2017), a middle grade fantasy series published by Candlewick Press and soon to be feature film. Her 2011 New York Times bestselling memoir, The Memory Palace, won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, literary journals, and anthologies, and her books have been trans ...more

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