I don’t booktalk to children’s groups too often, so when I do, I like to pick books that will appeal to the broadest possible audience. The Mysterious Howling is a cute and sweet story as well as an enthralling mystery, and that’s quite an accomplishment! To learn more about The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, be sure to check out Maryrose Wood’s website.
When Penelope graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, she never imagined that her first job as a governess would be such a challenge. The advertisement said that the governess should be energetic, and that experience with animals was strongly preferred. Penelope was energetic, and she loved animals (especially ponies), so she was very excited about the interview for this new job. But she couldn’t get a good idea of what the children were like. Everyone she asked about the children was very vague, or avoided the subject completely. After Penelope got the job and signed the contract, she went upstairs to unpack … but then she went outside to investigate some strange howling noises coming from the barn. And that’s when Penelope met the children. Because those weren’t animals howling in the barn … the children were making those noises!
That’s how Penelope learns that she is expected to be a governess for three children who had been found living in the woods. Three children who were raised by wolves. She is expected to teach these children French, Latin, history, etiquette, drawing and music. But these children don’t speak English, they prefer to walk on all fours, and they LOVE chasing squirrels. This is definitely going to be a challenge!