The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 4: The Interrupted Tale

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Overview

For fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood.

In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (or CAKE) at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Optoomuchstic as ever, Penelope hopes to ...

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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 4: The Interrupted Tale

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Overview

For fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society comes the fourth book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood.

In The Interrupted Tale, Miss Penelope Lumley receives an invitation to speak at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (or CAKE) at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. Optoomuchstic as ever, Penelope hopes to give her CAKE talk, see some old friends, and show off the Incorrigible children to Miss Mortimer, but instead she finds her beloved school in an uproar.

And when Penelope is asked by the Swanburne Academy board of trustees to demonstrate the academic progress of her three wolfish students so the board can judge the true worth of a Swanburne education, the future of her alma mater—and of her job as governess to the Incorrigibles—hangs in the balance.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
“Happily, the mysteries deepen at Ashton Place in this fourth volume in the Incorrigible Children series. Once again delightful wordplay and a plot that snakes itself around a suspicious family tree add to the deliciousness.”
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Hailey Chappell
This book has many plot twists that maintain interest, even if a few of them are predictable. Penelope is a darling girl whose immense knowledge helps to explain many new facts, and her large heart shows during her care of the incorrigible children, whose wolf-like ways will amuse anyone. This book is meant for ages ten to twelve, but it is also great for teens to read, enjoy, and learn new things. Reviewer: Hailey Chappell, Teen Reviewer; Ages 11 to 14.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Jonathan Ryder
In this fourth installment of the series, Penelope Lumley has been invited to her alma mater, the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Girls, in order to give a speech at the annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (CAKE). When she gets there, she discovers that the board of trustees, led by Judge Quinzy (whom Penelope is convinced is the long-lost father of her employer), has made several changes to her beloved school. Ivy overwhelms the once-pristine walls, covering up the motto: “No hopeless case is truly without hope.” Girls who once sang the school song with great spirit (if not always the correct words) now walk silently through the halls. Perhaps most troubling, there is a movement afoot to change the very name to something the board thinks is more fitting: The School for Miserable Girls. Can Penelope and her three raised-by-wolves charges foil this vile plot? Will her mastery of iambic pentameter allow her to write her CAKE speech in time? Most importantly, can she convince the board of the true value of a Swanburne education? Although this is the fourth in the series, this book can stand alone. It is written in a very conversational style, with the narrator taking repeated detours to go into various details. The story is generally engaging and should hold the attention of most readers, although some might be confused by the side trips. The setting is vaguely Victorian/Edwardian, which may be unfamiliar to many American readers. The book deals with issues of loyalty, friendship, botany, and the uncovering of mysteries. The ending makes it very clear that a fifth installment is in the works. Although it may not have strong general appeal, this book should find a devoted cadre of fans and would be a worthy addition to most middle school collections. Fans of Lemony Snicket will especially enjoy this. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
02/01/2014
Gr 4–6—In Wood's continuing comic-gothic series, nanny Penelope Lumley is called back to the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females to deliver a speech at the Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition, and she takes her three wolfish charges along. They find things much changed from Penelope's pleasant descriptions of the institution that was so instrumental in forming her character and philosophy. The Board of Directors has experienced something along the lines of a hostile takeover. Any enjoyment of life on the part of the poor, bright females is being squelched. It doesn't take long for Penelope to suspect that Judge Quinzy, who now heads the Board, is actually the supposedly deceased father of Lord Ashton and that he is after a book that may hold clues about the mysterious curse of the Ashtons. Readers learn that the three incorrigible children are not the only wolfish humans in the series and also a fair amount about poetic feet-especially iambic pentameter. It is all great fun and delightfully complicated-an essential purchase for libraries owning the previous three titles.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
Amid much mention of cake and iambic pentameter, the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females survives a challenge thanks to its star graduate, nanny Penelope Lumley, and her three wolfish wards. Invited on her 16th birthday to deliver an address to her school's residents and sundry others at a Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition, Miss Lumley travels to her alma mater with young Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia Incorrigible. There, she discovers that malign "Judge Quinzy," disguised and purportedly dead father of her employer, Lord Frederick Ashton, has taken over the board of trustees and instituted a repressive regime that includes changing the school's very name to the Quinzy School for Miserable Girls. Why? It seems he's after a certain old diary that holds clues as to why the Ashton men have been howling at the full moon for generations. As in previous episodes, Wood threads a boisterous gaslamp melodrama with instructional references (here to poetic meters) and broad but inscrutable clues. These seem to link the Ashtons, the Incorrigibles and Miss Lumley herself in some still-mysterious way. As always, details thrill: The school vet, Dr. Westminster, is first met successfully teaching chickens to dance the hokeypokey. The history and nature of the Ashton curse at least begins to move out of the shadows at last. Still, much else remains to be illuminated in future sequels, which fans will be howling for. (finished illustrations not seen) (Comic melodrama. 10-12)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Maryrose Wood

Maryrose Wood is the author of The Mysterious Howling, The Hidden Gallery, and The Unseen Guest—the first three books in this continuing series about the Incorrigible children and their governess. These books may be considered works of fiction, which is to say, the true bits and the untrue bits are so thoroughly mixed together that no one should be able to tell the difference. This process of fabrication is fully permitted under the terms of the author's Poetic License, which is one of her most prized possessions.

Maryrose's other qualifications for writing these tales include a scandalous stint as a professional thespian, many years as a private governess to two curious and occasionally rambunctious pupils, and whatever literary insights she may have gleaned from living in close proximity to a clever but disobedient dog.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Amazing!

    A must read for everyone who has read the series!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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