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The Wonderling

(Candlewick Press)

 

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime...

 

Mira Bartók

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Reader Appeal Ages 8-12

 

There are stories, novels and tales and The Wonderling is most assuredly a tale.

 

When we meet the Wonderling he is simply known as number 13. He is an orphan living at Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. It is a sad place full of sad creatures, run by a very mean woman. How many adventures start that way?

Number 13 and his fellow orphans live in a prison environment, all around them are signs: Know Your Place! It’s at the bottom! Blessed are Those Who Serve and Obey! Music is the Root of All Evil! And the saddest of all Why Reach for the Stars When the Stars Are Out of Reach? See what I mean? It is a sad place indeed.

Things begin to change for number 13 one rainy day when out in the yard he hears with his one good ear a squeak coming from a ball that the bullies are tossing back and forth. He quickly realizes that the ball is a fellow orphan and number 13 shows his first spark of bravery. He saves the little ball, which is actually a wingless bird named Trinket. She gives number 13 a new name, Arthur!

Trinket and Arthur become fast friends and before too long they are on a quest. And as they go they’ll meet lots of friends and foes, they’ll travel with each other and apart. Arthur will learn more about his lost family, himself and just what it means to be a hero.

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:

 

• Arthur is a little bit of fox, a little bit of rabbit and a dash of human. Almost all the characters are a mix of at least two animals. What two animals would you put together that would be cute? What about scary?

• Names play a big part in Arthurs tale. What would you name your creature? Why do you think you have the name you do? Would you change it? To what?

• Arthur is an unlikely hero. What makes a hero? Who are your heroes?

--JH

 

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