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The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #3)

The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #3)

4.4 16
by Maryrose Wood, Jon Klassen

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Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."

The Incorrigible children actually were.

Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up


Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."

The Incorrigible children actually were.

Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.

But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her.

The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Those incorrigible children of Ashton Place are back. The story is rife with colorful characters, catchy phrases, mad-cap adventure, and a touch of mystery. Tantalizing pieces of the puzzle concerning the children's origins and their connection to Miss Lumley and Ashton Place continue to be cleverly revealed throughout the story, creating just the right balance in this fast-paced, fun read. It begins with the appearance of a stray ostrich, soon followed by the Widow Ashton and Admiral Faucet, pronounced Faw-say, who plans on raising, racing, and marketing ostrich as a means to a fortune. His plans also include marrying wealthy Widow Ashton. Faucet is fascinated by the feral Incorrigible children, suggesting that they be used as exhibitions in a traveling show. He's mollified to have them lead the search for his missing ostrich, Bertha, in the nearby forest. Once back in the forest in which they were found, the children revert to many of their wolfish ways, much to Miss Lumley's chagrin. Bertha is found, but all of Faucet's schemes come crumbling down with the appearance of Judge Quinzy. Or is it really the Widow Ashton's late husband? Quinzy/Ashton doesn't stick around long enough for a definitive answer, but his widow is convinced of his identity and cancels her engagement to Faucet. He departs, and readers are left with an epilogue that only whets the appetite for the next installment in this wonderful series. A must-have.—Mary Beth Rassulo, Ridgefield Library, CT
VOYA - Jonathan Ryder
The quiet life of Penelope Lumley, governess of the three Incorrigble children, is disrupted by a sudden visitor. All of a sudden, Widow Ashton arrives, bringing with her a new suitor in the form of Admiral Faucet, a seasoned adventurer with stories to tell and a scheme for introducing ostrich racing to England. Along with these guests come clues to the Incorrigible children's mysterious past, as well as Penelope's own. How did the Incorrigible children survive for so long in the wild? Will Widow Ashton marry the handsome adventurer? Why does Lord Frederick Ashton mysteriously vanish every full moon? Who is the "unseen guest," and how is s/he tied to the destinies of the rest of the residents of Ashton Place? With her knowledge that a Swanburne Academy graduate can tackle any situation, Penelope plunges in to find the answers. The setting of this book, upper-class society of late Victorian England, will be unfamiliar to most readers, but Wood's use of a governess as the main character makes it accessible. The story is fairly interesting, with plenty of twists and turns. Wood's style is conversational, and she frequently breaks the fourth wall by addressing the reader directly. This will interest fans of series like The Magic Treehouse. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Book 3 of this series continues the shenanigans of Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia and their daring, almost 16-year-old governess, Penelope Lumley. The children were found in a wolf cave by Lord Frederick Ashton and still revert to their wolfish upbringing. They call Penelope "Lumawoo" and howl or bark when excited. Their adventure this time is to rescue an ostrich that has escaped captivity. Lord Ashton wants to hunt and shoot it for his trophy room. The conniving, gold-digging scoundrel, Admiral Faucet (pronounced Faw-say, if you please,) who bought the bird as the start of a money-making scheme, hopes to find Bertha first and to this end, he elicits the children and their governess' help. The children are more than happy for this adventure, but Penelope has her doubts, not the least of which is her suspicion of the Admiral's motives. Admiral Faucet is of course no help whatsoever, but the children and governess do find the bird after spending the night in their wolf cave. Rather than it being a cold and hungry night, the group has warm blankets and pillows with which to sleep and sandwiches to eat. Penelope does wonder how these things came to be in the cave, but the children take the comforts for granted. Their wolf pack helps them sniff out Bertha and then race her back to the manor house just before Lord Freddy can shoot her. The narrative is told in lively fashion with hints of Lemony Snicket, Margaret Sidney's The Five Little Peppers, and overtones of Margaret Wise Brown and Charlotte Bronte. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
Kirkus Reviews
Resilient as ever, in the third installment of Wood's deliciously melodramatic Victorian mystery teenage governess Penelope Lumley takes on threats to her wolfish young charges that include a hustler after the Ashton fortune. The unexpected sighting of an ostrich among the larks and thrushes in the woods near Ashton Place heralds the arrival of bluff Admiral Albert Faucet ("That's faw-say, my good man. Not faucet"). Once he meets the three feral children Penelope is charged with training up to be human, Faucet's scheme to finance the introduction of ostrich racing to the British Isles by marrying the Dowager Lady Ashton is transformed to visions of wolf racing and sideshow exhibitions. Fortunately Penelope, proud graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is not only up to that challenge but numerous others. These range from actually riding the aforementioned ostrich and meeting a pack of oversize, strangely intelligent wolves (if wolves they be) to orchestrating a climactic séance designed to contact the Dowager's first husband, drowned (purportedly) in the medicinal tar pits at Gooden-Baden. Along with gleefully pitching her plucky protagonist into one crisis after another, punctuated by authorial disquisitions on similes, rhetorical questions, contagious punning and other linguistic follies, the author slips in a few more seemingly significant Clues to the Ashtons' curious history and Penelope's apparent involvement in it. Still howling good fun, though the series' big Reveal doesn't seem any closer than before. (Melodrama. 10-12)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series , #3
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File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Maryrose Wood is the author of the first five books (so far!) in this 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.

Jon Klassen grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, as well as the illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; The Dark by Lemony Snicket; House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser; Cats' Night Out by Caroline Stutson; and the first three books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

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The Unseen Guest (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series, Book III) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The past two books have been charming and delightful so i cant wait to read what happens next in this wonderful seires!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a Animal Jam
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wonder if there will be a ghost in this one. I actually havent read any of these books yet but Im going to real soon. :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to wishworks for more info.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great mysterious and funny but a little scary in some parts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book seems scary, especally in the wild! My worries TOTALLY connect with Penelopes! I predict that there will be tons of scary parts!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just started reading this book and well so far so good. Maryrose Wood and Jon Klassen did a good job on this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm reading the book right now so far it's great just like the other books!!!!!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nyan cat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to read so badly.