Children's Books

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AUGUST 27, 2008
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

Written by the same author who wrote The Giver, this book is an exagerated example of an old-fashioned story and is quite humorous. The author uses familiar plot-lines from the orphan stories that have become classics including, Mary Poppins, Heidi, Pollyanna, and The Secret Garden, to tell the story of how the four Willoughby children, Tim, Barnaby A, Barnaby B, and Jane become orphans and who, along with their Nanny, come to live with an extremely wealthy gentleman whose wife and son were caught in an avalanche while riding a train in Switzerland, never to be heard from again. The beginning is similar to The Series of Unfortunate Events in its perpetual unhappiness and lack of sensitivity by the parents, but the ending is pleasing as all old-fashioned stories should be. This is an easy-to-read book that will appeal to both boys and girls in grades 3-6. It would also make a good read-aloud to younger children. The author uses many large and old-fashioned words that are defined in the back of the book also in a humorous fashion. Brief summaries of some of the old-fashioned stories referenced in the book are also included in the back of the book. I heard the author read the first chapters of this book prior to its publication and her dry manner of reading had the audience laughing and anxious to read the rest of it. I highly recommend it!

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Miss Jennifer

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Comments

Mrs. Bedel said, on Sep. 9 at 11:02AM
Drawn to The Willoughbys initially by author, Lois Lowry's name - I found it to be a cleverly amusing book dramatically different from her Newbery winners, The Giver and Number the Stars. What a tribute to her versatility!

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