Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival” as Want to Read:
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  481 ratings  ·  171 reviews
You would think Petronella's sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place, until, suddenly—it isn't. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Pe
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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 Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  481 ratings  ·  171 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
The cover and title were so cute that it wasn't a huge shock (although it was a disappointment) to find that the prose was much too precious for my taste. However, my main complaint was that Low has no feel for Victorian society and its mores, and clearly didn't bother to do any research. Probably she's read a couple of romances set during the 19th century and "knows" that people had coming-out parties and cared about their reputations. And wore fancy dresses, of course. That's the main point of ...more
Oct 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
I added this disclaimer to my review after a lively conversation with some angry readers who turned out to be the author's grandson and school friend. Out of that discussion I read a blog post by the author. She made several points including that I had missed the satire and was probably someone who just bought into theories without critical analysis. I am not sure about that but I did miss that this book was satire. I thought it was more a spunky heroine, playing around with historical setting t ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone, by Dene Low, was one of the most charming, witty, well written books I have ever read. It had a P. G. Wodehouse feel to it and was chalk full of dry humor. While the plot is not terribly complex, it takes a smart reader who prefers unique reads to enjoy this title. You'll also have to prefer characters who have personalities with more of a subtle depth to them. So many books I've read have female heroines (or heroes in general) who are rude and 'tough' in an unr ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-review

This has got to be one of the strangest, cutest, most wonderful starts to a series I've ever read and I think I'm in love with it. The language, the characters, their behaviors to me everything was spot on.

Right off the bat we are introduced to Victorian manners and ways of doing things and then all of a sudden we find Uncle Augustus T. Percival having a bite to eat, a bite to eat of BUGS! His compulsion is just so hilarious, the way the author writes it, seeing him hopping around in the backgro
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. Loved it. It is a spot-on Regency spoof, without being spoofy at all. The story itself is entertaining, the protagonist's voice is delightful, the action is hysterical. The shades of Jane Austin are impossible to miss, but it's a delicate lavender shading. Anything more (or less), would be unseemly.

This is a lovely, light afternoon romp through wondrous estates, The Home Office, the seedy docks of London and mad Selleresque plots to overthrow the Crown.

This delightful comedy
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle to high school
I was originally attracted to this book for the sole stupid reason of its appearance. It is a little bitty hardback, about 10 inches tall, and it was dark brown with a mint green jacket. It looked like something made out of mint chocolate chip ice cream... Anyways, I picked it up, and it looked pretty interesting, so I bought it, not really knowing what to expect.
Despite the intimidatingly long title, this book really is a little gem. I went into it expecting something along the lines of Pride
Elizabeth Weaver
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
What an enchanting read! Delightfully reminiscent of P.G Wodehouse! Many of the names are similar. And when the butler says, “...I took the liberty of apprehending the young person...”, you’re certain that it’s Jeeves in disguise.
But the story is fresh and full of ridiculous fantasy, to rival Miss Peregrine’s peculiar circumstances in a different YA classic.
I savored the book and rationed our the chapters like a box of chocolates.
Books and Literature for Teens
What if your uncle (and guardian) started eating bugs? What if, on your coming out party, two important guest-and later, your dearest friend-were kidnapped? What if your heart's true love still treated you like a little sister? And finally, what if your pesky, insane relatives got wind of this scandal and came knocking at your door?
Preposterous you say! But it's exactly what happens to Petronella Arbuthnot. Now it is up to her, Uncle Augusts, the handsome Lord James Sinclair, several old biddy a
Aug 04, 2011 added it
A review on the back of The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone, by Dene Low, describes the narrative as "frothy," and nothing could be more true. The plot (best approached without looking too closely at the details, or it might collapse under the weight of its own frothiness) concerns the kidnapping of two dignitaries on the eve of narrator Petronella Arbuthnot's sixteenth birthday. With the aid of her insect-ingesting uncle Augustus, bosom friend Jane ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult, mysteries
Tip-top, old whatsit! A hilarious mystery in the style of a P.G. Wodehouse novel, Petronella is a young lady of good family just making her debut when the party is spoiled by her beloved uncle and guardian knocking down the tent . . . because he was trying to eat the moths circling the candles! Plagued by her uncle's strange ailment, a double-kidnapping (which turns triple!), international intrigue, and a number of inconvenient relations, the book is a fun little romp from beginning to end! ...more
Dell Hilton
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful little book!
Jul 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signed, kindle, 2016-read
Petronella is a saucy 16 year old in aristocratic London under the guardianship of her uncle Augustus Percival. Ordinarily, this would be a good thing. He is far and away the best of her relatives. But he accidentally swallowed a beetle and now he's a little, shall we say, different. It doesn't help that at her coming out party, two of her titled guests are kidnapped and her entire extended and obnoxious family descends on the house. But armed with her bosom friend, that friend's handsome older ...more
This was a very enjoyable, sweet little romp through London's upper crust in the beginning of the 1900s, with a bug-eating uncle making Petronella's hopes of a season more fraught than she'd hoped. I happily went with the awful aunts (one constantly pith-helmeted, one an early fashion victim) as they were cheerfully over-the-top. But some of the dialogue missed slightly and not all the wimsy was as effective as it could have been. Still liked it a lot, and will look out for a sequel, or whatever ...more
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Have you ever been to a melodrama on stage where they exaggerate the villans and hold signs that prompt the crowd to boo and hiss and then exaggerate the hero and hold signs to cheer? When one reads this book one feels as though one is attending just such an event! (One also speaks this way when one is introducing every chapter!) It is light and funny, but the exaggeration and silliness keep you from ever really caring about the characters. Petronella never felt real to me, but I enjoyed the wor ...more
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Betsy by: Colleen Mondor
One Sentence Review: It may not be particularly well known due to the sheer strangeness of the material, but Low's book is still a hoot and a holler (and really the number one go-to source for bug eating uncles this year). ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up for two reasons. I am trying to familiarize myself with books in the Teen section of my library (where I am the somewhat new Teen Librarian), and this one had compelling cover art. Reading the dust jacket I was hoping to find something along the lines of a P. G. Wodehouse romp, tailored to modern teens. I’m really glad I read it now because I’m going to recommend that it goes into the Juvenile room. But that’s only because of the plot.

I’d actually like to recommend that w
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Petronella is your typical, proper young woman coming of age in Victorian England; that is until her Uncle and guardian is afflicted with a strange inclination to devour insects, her coming out party is used to kidnap two influential persons, and her other relations descend on mass to try to weasel their way into her money or at least into her business. At which point, what else is a young lady to do, especially one with a handsome friend in the home office, a wonderfully supportive best friend ...more
Tales Untangled
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So cute and punchy! Our heroine, Eunice *cough* Petronella is preferred, is a proper Victorian girl of 16, and finds herself in the middle of a case of espionage, kidnappings, and a night without dinner - not so much as a crumpet. She finds plenty of time to swoon over James, her best friend's older brother, while piecing together clues that the Yard can't manage. What is it with men?

We need more girls like Petronella. The only way to solve this dilemma is to read the book and learn how from Pet
Teresa Osgood
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
About to make her debut, Petronella is a proper Edwardian young lady with a grand estate and a loving uncle for a guardian. But when said guardian develops an inexplicable appetite for invertebrates, famous people are kidnapped from her party, and her greedy aunts attempt to take control, mayhem ensues. Can Petronella save everyone from international villains, bumbling detectives, and, above all, scandal? Well, nearly. It's a fun little story, though I don't recommend it for lunchtime reading. ...more
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That was so much fun to read and now I'm sorry I didn't get to it for so long. I'm recommending this one to everyone I know that loves P.G. Wodehouse and historical fiction in general. It was so funny and I laughed out loud more times than I can count. The only improvement I could think of would be more kissing, but, hey, Petronella was barely 16 and her crush is in his 20s. The age difference might make it weird.

Loved it!
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
In a weird turn of events, this book was filled with things that usually annoy and enchant me as a reader. Oddly, the things I usually find annoying, in this book were actually fairly delightful while things I usually enjoy immensely came across as trying too hard while still not fully succeeding. A fine little read, but I don't think I'll be bringing it up in conversation or anything. ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I really liked the premise of the book, I ultimately didn't end up enjoying it. I found the characters flat to me, and the way it was written not super engaging. It just wasn't for me personally ...more
Monica L
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-on-cd-read
Not really a fan. Reminds me of EMMA, one of the worst books I have ever read. Too rich and privileged for my taste in books. It did have some very funny parts thus the 3/5. If you like books like Emma you would love it.
Corinna Motola
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a random book I picked up at a thrift store because the title was so odd. The story itself was well-written and witty. A mystery that takes place in Regency England. It was different and fun.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun and enjoyable.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, middle-school
This book was like Lemony Snicket mixed with Jane Austen. Tons of fun.
A little annoyingly cute, but easy to listen to while driving.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-library
That was fun, and the mc felt like a younger version of Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell! ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Delightfully peculiar, this was right up my alley. This quick read was offbeat and just a fun story.
Cherie Bush
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
Humorous and charming.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Wishes and Wellingtons
  • Murder at Queen's Landing (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #4)
  • The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
  • Lucky Man
  • Echoes of Sherlock Holmes (Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon, #3)
  • Three Hours In Paris
  • A Side of Murder (Cape Cod Foodie Mystery #1)
  • The Old Religion
  • The Woman in the Water (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #0.1)
  • The Strangers (Greystone Secrets, #1)
  • It's All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible
  • Perestroika in Paris
  • The Broken Spine (Beloved Bookroom Mystery, #1)
  • The Favorite Daughter
  • Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea, #1)
  • Egg Shooters (Cackleberry Club, #9)
  • Absence of Mercy (A Lightner and Law Mystery #1)
  • Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Related Articles

As this strange summer of staying put winds down, one thing remains truer than ever: Books offer us endless adventure and new horizons to...
58 likes · 30 comments