The Incorrigible children actually were.
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners in time for the holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
Thanks to the efforts of their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are less like wild animals and more like almost-proper children now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees. But a trip to London provides a slew of new challenges, and as clues to the children's—and Penelope's—past come to light, they find themselves swept up in an unexpected mystery.
"It's the best beginning since [Lemony Snicket's] The Bad Beginning and will leave readers howling for the next episode."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"How hearty and delicious. Smartly written with a middle-grade audience in mind, this is both fun and funny and sprinkled with dollops of wisdom."—ALA Booklist (starred review)
"With a Snicketesque affect, Wood's narrative propels the drama. Pervasive humor and unanswered questions should have readers begging for more."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire of a
nineteenth-century English governess story. Frequent plate-sized
illustrations add wit and period flair."—School Library Journal (starred review)
To my Esteemed Readers,
Allow me to introduce myself: I am Maryrose Wood, author of the series of books about the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and their plucky young governess, Miss Penelope Lumley. Although I was never enrolled at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, I have attended other, less interesting schools. In addition, I have some experience as a professional thespian, a governess (well, a mother), and am the owner of several rather spoiled pets (alas, there are no ponies among them). I have also written several other novels for young adults.
To learn more about me, and to submit your eagerly awaited correspondence, you may visit www.maryrosewood.com
In the words of Agatha Swanburne, founder of the aforementioned Academy and a wellspring of pithy sayings: "Every book is judged by its cover until it is read." For your initial impression of these works, then, you may thank illustrator Jon Klassen, who has also provided charming, comical, and occasionally hair-raising interior illustrations for the books. To learn more about Mr. Klassen, you may visit www.burstofbeaden.com
It is my sincere wish that the tales of the Incorrigible children will provide you with many howls of enjoyment, as well as some useful animal-training techniques.
Respectfully, and with thanks,
Illustrations copyright © 2010, 2011 by Jon Klassen
Miss Penelope Lumley and her young charges enter the Ashton woods where they uncover even more mysteries: How did the Incorrigibles survive their early years out of doors? Why are there sandwiches in the woods? And what on earth is an ostrich doing there? New guests arrive at Ashton Place, old friends visit from London, and a ghostly séance (not quite the social affair Lady Constance was hoping for!) takes place. But just who is the unseen guest?
Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said:
"They must have been raised by wolves."
The Incorrigibles are off to London for mystery,
mayhem, and delicious desserts!
More puzzling questions—rhetorical and otherwise—emerge
in the Ashton woods. The hunt is on!
"[A] most excellent adventure."—ALA Booklist (starred review)
"Plot twists out of Charlotte Brontë or Arthur Conan Doyle keep the action absorbing even while the narration is thoroughly tongue-in-cheek."—New York Times Book Review