The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place - Review

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling (Book 1)
 by Maryrose Wood, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Publication date: February 23, 2010
ISBN 10/13: 0061791059 / 9780061791055

Category: Middle Grade/Independent Reader Fiction
Format: Hardcover 
Keywords: Jane Eyre, governess, raised by wolves, humor, howling

Find the synopsis on

How I found out about this book: I got an email newsletter from HarperCollins that had a link to the first 54 pages of this new series about a young woman who is hired to look after three children who were raised by wolves. I devoured it in one bite. Then had to wait another month to get my hands on a final copy of the book. Agony...

Quickie: Not since Lemony Snicket have I laughed so hard over a middle grade novel. No howling-related pun can begin to express just how much fun this story was to read! (And I know Miss Lumley would jump all over that poorly constructed sentence... in the most polite and ladylike manner, of course.)

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My review: I really wanted to entitle this post "My Shelf Runneth Over", but I didn't want to break with my established style. I could not believe how spot-on Maryrose Wood's story was--Jane-Eyre inspired, wittily worded, silly and sarcastic--thoroughly enjoyable. I felt like it was written just for me.

I fell in love with Miss Lumley, her pride in being a Swanburne girl, her understanding way with the children (in their own words, Alawoooo, Beowoooo, and Cassawoof! since they can't speak their own names without howling). AND the cover and interiors are illustrated by one of my favorite Los Angeles artists, Jon Klassen. AND the audiobook is read by my favorite reader of all time, Katherine Kellgren.

To top it all off, Maryrose Wood is one of the friendliest, most accessible authors it has ever been my pleasure to meet--well, tweet:

frootjoos @Maryrose_Wood Hooooowwwwwwwwwlll!!! I got Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 1 today! ^_^

Maryrose_Wood @frootjoos oh my word, is that a little wolf-ear emoticon? YOU ARE GENIUS. enjoy the book, frootjoosahwooooooo!

I will remember this forever.

Not to be missed: The sayings of Agatha Swanburne, many of which I am just itching to embroider onto a pillow. Page 92, where Beowulf recites a poem of his own composition. Any scene involving a squirrel.

What am I saying? Just go read the book, now! Awoooo!

Who should read this book: Anyone who loves Jane Eyre, wolves, and laughter.

Author photo from

The Mysterious Howling is Maryrose Wood's 6th novel. (It is Book 1 of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.)

Find the author at, on Twitter @Maryrose_Wood

Shortlink to this review: http://bit.l/rnsllumawoo

Find this book on, listen to a snippet at, or buy it now!


What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)