The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #1)

The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #1)


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The first book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place—the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood, perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Trenton Lee Stewart—has a brand-new look.

Discovered in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. A recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062366931
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/21/2015
Series: Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 89,321
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About 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 and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the Caldecott Medal–winning author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat, as well as the illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, Pax by Sara Pennypacker and The Nest by Kenneth Oppel.



What People are Saying About This

Adam Rex

Every newspaper and website in America is going to tell you that The Mysterious Howling will leave you HOWLING FOR MORE! So I’m not going to say that. But it’s really good.

Customer Reviews

Mysterious Howling 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When you are being exceptionally rude, your mother will often comment: "Were you raised by wolves?" The Incorrigibles were, and they need a governess. This comes in the form of teenaged Penelope Lumley, an orphan alumni of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Girls. When Miss Lumley came to the lavish Ashton Place, she thought she would be raising the heirs of Fredrick and Constance Ashton. Instead, she is given three young charges called the Incorrigibles so they cannot be mistaken for Ashtons. However, Fredrick Ashton names the kids Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassieopeia. Of course, when you've been raised by wolves, it is not easy to survive turn of the century high class society. And of course, you'll be eating that quail with ketchup by the gobs while you squeak out "The Wreck of the Hesperus." Miss Lumley seems to keep the children in line, so Lady Constance invites the children to a Christmas ball. Of course, thet must learn to dance and wear sailor suits and frocks. But there's always a catch. A squirrel mysteriously appears at the event, causing a wolf relapse in the kids. Luckily, all is well and the squirrel becomes the beloved nursery pet "Nutsawoo." It is not until the end of the tale that we realize that Miss Lumley has a past of her own that she's eager to discover. For Snicket fans, and fans of the weird, haphazard side of life. Plenty of wisdom lent through the ever present Agatha Swanburne. Please read this and A Snicker of Magic and The Ability. Go save these little gems! All of the small names are worth it to read, and wont let you down. Good story, fine adventuroooooo! ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fabulous book! I cant wait until the fourth one comes out! Maryrose Wood is a great author. I recommend this book for kids ages ten to twelve. Very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story has a different style of writing but i really like it. the overall plot is good and it's an enjoyable read. i couldn't put it down.
khager on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a total delight, and practically begs to be read out loud to children--young enough to enjoy being read to, but old enough to get sly humor. There are also fantastic drawings scattered throughout. :)Penelope is a graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and is on her way to see about a post as a governess. She accepts the job before learning anything about the children. Does that set off alarm bells for you? It should.You know the phrase "Raised by wolves"? These three kids were. So Penelope has to teach the three children (Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia) how to be normal, polite children.This is the first in a series and I can't wait to read more. :)
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book and was surprised by how much I liked it. The story is cute, the characters are ridiculous, but lovely at the same time. The reader does a fantastic job of engaging the listener via different voices for the different characters. Her voices for the Incorrigibles are lovely and adorable, as are the characters themselves. I plan to listen to the second book in this series eventually.
daisyacg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5Q 4PThis is a very well written book with suspenseful elements and likable characters. The "incorrigible" children have humorous adventures with their governess, but she keeps them on track in their education. I think that most children will enjoy this story, but some children may not enjoy the historical setting and with that historical language that is often used.
LadyJai on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old son began reading this and lost interest rather quickly. When I picked it up to read it I could understand why. It is written in period language. I am not sure even a girl of the same age would find this an easy read. Maybe it's the age. Maybe had my son been a bit older, say 10 or 12, it might have been more interesting. Aside from that, I really did enjoy the book.I rather enjoyed the language of the book. The author did a very good job with the style of the period. It was proper, as any refined and educated girl would be expected to be. The story is about a 15 year old girl who just graduated from Swanburne Academy. As governess, she quickly learns the truth about the "wild children" of Ashton Place and vows to treat them and educate them like children should be. She has a grand task ahead of her and shows just how exceptional a teacher she is by books end...but there is more to the story. I knew from the beginning that this was a series of books, but did not realize that the story itself would not be finished in the first book. So, be warned, you may want to get the second and third book lined up for when you are done with the first!
keristars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this first book in the Incorrigible Children series after reading the second in the series, The Hidden Gallery, so I was spoiled somewhat for some of the details. I think this lessened my enjoyment of the book, since although there was a lot more that happened in The Mysterious Howling than got revisited in The Hidden Gallery, I still knew how the plot would go.On the other hand, several people reviewed the second book and noted that much of the novelty of the style and plot wore a bit thin ¿ perhaps I am experiencing the same thing, but in reverse, because I read that one first.Nonetheless, The Mysterious Howling is a delightful, affectionate pastiche of classic children's books. The main character is a 15-year-old governess named Penelope Lumley from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Young Females, and who doesn't know very much of the world except what she has learned from her books. Her charges are three wild children found in the forest and who were apparently quite literally raised by wolves. Penelope is tasked with turning them into proper children for Lord and Lady Ashton to show off. The Lord Ashton seems to think of them as a prize hunting trophy, whereas Lady Ashton would rather not have anything to do with them at all - unless they can bolster her social standing (she is a bit of a frivolous young woman).There are some mysterious goings on about Ashton Place beyond the children, but I'm not sure that young readers will pick up on the clues as easily as adults or more genre savvy young people would. However, I think this book would be a lot of fun for an adult to read with a child, especially because of the various asides and comments to the reader that are similar to those in A Series of Unfortunate Events, but in a much more pleasant and optimistic way.On the whole, though, I suspect that this planned trilogy may have been best served to be a single long volume, rather than split into three separate books.
phh333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really liked this book which has the elements of Nannie McPhee and The Series of Unfortunate Events. Children who were raised by wolves are given a home with the hunter who found them. A governess is hired to care for them. The audio book was spectacular with the actor giving voice to the children with a wolfish, howling accent. This first book leaves the reader in suspense and wanting more.
mary.kyart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
ADORABLE!!! It's like Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket and The Willoughbys.
ChristianR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Will kids like this book as much as I did? I thought it was wickedly funny. It's a play on Jane Austin and her plucky heroines. I loved the protagonist, Miss Penelope Lumley, who has just graduated from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. She is hired as a governess to three young children, but she quickly learns that they were raised by wolves until the gentleman of the estate found them in his woods. Although the lady of the house, Lady Constance, is completely useless, Penelope is more than capable and the children are quick and eager learners. Many mysteries plague Penelope (and the reader). Why were the children in the woods, what are Lord Ashton's plans for them, and why are the male guests at the Christmas party expecting to see the children acting wildly when Penelope has clearly been setting aside instruction in Latin to work on social graces? Happily, none of these questions are answered. I'm ready right now to put aside my pile of books to be read in order to start the second book in the series.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miss Penelope Lumley, new graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, has found herself a job as governess to the children at Ashton Place. The job seems too good to be true - Penelope is offered it with only the briefest of interviews and the salary is more than generous... When Penelope discovers that her three charges have, in fact, been raised by wolves, she knows she's got a challenge ahead of her. This book has that wonderful tongue-in-cheek tone and wry humor that made Lemony Snickett so popular. Definitely hand this one to fans of Unfortunate Events as well as kids who enjoyed Philip Reeve's Larklight series and Lois Lowry's The Willoughbys. Highly recommended.
GRgenius on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The cover initially attracted me to this book as well as the title. Although not all the mysteries are solved by books end, it is listed as "book 1"...I am much anticipating the follow-up!
DianeVogan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is such a clever book. The wolf children are funny and unpredictable. Their 15 year old, very clever, tutor also has a mysterious past that begins with her "meow" on page 4. I thoroughly enjoyed the details: Agatha Swainburn's Sayings, tiny pictures at the beginning of chapters that give clues, squirrel chases, and very funny asides. Then there I was at the end of the book with not enough pages left to answer the questions and mystery--to be continued (not soon enough)--"awooooo".
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The children were too quickly tamed for me, but I like the little governess. Where's Book 2?
ylin.0621 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Mysterious Howling was wickedly funny, whimsically amusing, and delightfully charming. Now that was an onslaught of adjectives that mean absolutely! Hopefully with the proper citations and enough batting of the eyelashes you¿ll be swayed.The Mysterious Howling shows great promise and, like what many book critics have been saying, this promise is akin to Lemony Snicket. Their styles are very similar with their sympathetic, humorous tone and light-hearted mood set against a rather dark and twisted theme. Here is a [rather lengthy] quote of a passage from the book:`¿You,¿ she said, looking at the eldest boy, ¿are to be called Alexander. Can you say it? Alexander,¿ she prompted again, clearly.¿Alawoooooo,¿ he repeated.¿Very good!¿ She glanced at the card, ¿It says here, you are named after `Alexander the Great, the legendary commander who mercilessly conquered the Persian Empire and was said to drink too much wine.¿ Hmm. That is an odd choice.¿¿Alawooooo!¿ he said, with feeling.¿As for you,¿ she said, turning to the smaller boy, ¿you are to be called Beowulf. `Beowulf was a fearless warrior of old, who slew monsters and dragons until he met a bloody and violent end.¿ A most unsavory namesake, in my opinion, but that is what Lord Ashton has written here. Can you say Beowulf?¿¿Beowoooooo,¿ the boy said proudly.¿Excellent,¿ Penelope praised. ¿And now for our littlest pupil. Heavens! It appears that Lord Ashton has named you¿well, let me read it. `Cassiopeia, after the vain and arrogant queen of the ancient Greeks who tried to sacrifice her own daughter to the sea gods.¿ How dreadful! But it will have to do.¿ She was about to ask the little girl to repeat her name, but the clever child had been watching the other and beat Penelope to the task.¿Cassawoof!¿ she yelped. ¿Woof! Woof!¿¿¿excerpt from pages 54-55Yikes! I was not expecting to copy an entire page from the book. At any rate I realize that this passage is not a great example of the characterization in the book, my fault. In The Mysterious Howling each and every character shines; they are distinctive, charming (it their own special little way), and full of personality. Rather than grouping people together, which I have done countless times especially when concerning books that are similar, there is a sense of individuality that makes them who they are.However there are issues. Despite the recommended reading group for the novel to be for middle school students I believe that maybe some of the older generation will appreciate the book more. The Mysterious Howling is very appropriate to children don't worry, but how well it will hold their attention may be the issue. Some of the diction, motifs, and even the heaviness of the dialogues and narration at times may be troublesome for some students. (It's rare but it still occurs). There is even an issue of the protagonist being the age of 15¿(older than the recommended age group). How well the children will relate to and understand the story will just depend on the child¿s level of reading though.But! the illustration accompanying the novel was just splendid! If you like the artistic style of the cover then you¿ll love the illustrations. It fits quite well with the quirkiness of the novel.Overall: So our class just had a guest speaker for Women¿s Day today and she told us that when she hired, her employers called her ¿a delightful wack-job¿. I feel as though this book is exactly that! It was a delightful, but strange all the while. I want need the next book in the series definitely!Cover A+It¿s a very good representation of the novel with a color scheme I adore (I like the more earthy tones) that demonstrates the potential of the book nicely.
ashlynprill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Discovered in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels. Luckily, their governess is not ordinary either.This is the first addition to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, and introduces it's characters and the mysterious findings of the children raised by wolves, captured and being civilized. The language in this book is pleasantly overachieving for children's literature: The setting, while set centuries ago, nicely references modern day to explain concepts from that period to children from this day. This book would be entertaining for both boys and girls, and is relatable and fun because the Incorrigible Children spark imaginative play in its readers.
twonickels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was completely won over by this rollicking old-time story that has tongue firmly planted in cheek. I didn¿t think that the conceit was going to hold through a full novel ¿ was pretty sure that it would feel one-note and boring by the end ¿ but I¿m happy to say that wasn¿t the case. I think it worked because Miss Lumley and the Incorrigibles are such winning characters.
_Zoe_ on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this one, starting from the very first pages when we meet Penelope Lumley as she travels to Ashton Place to interview for the position of governess: "Although only fifteen years old, she was a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females." Wood combines all the key elements of a certain type of old-fashioned story--governess, orphans, wealthy estate, mystery--with a good dose of humour; the book doesn't take itself too seriously, and benefits a lot from that approach.My only complaint about the story is that it feels incomplete. This is the first in a series, and it shows. There are key plot elements that just aren't resolved at all, giving the impression that the book just stopped in the middle. On one level, I'm very glad that there will be more to read, and next February can't come soon enough; but on another level, I think I'd have preferred to read the story as one (or several) longer books, so that it wouldn't be so broken up. On the whole, though, I really liked the book and hope there will be many more.
RefPenny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Penelope Lumley has just left the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and started her first job as governess to three children at Ashton Place. But these are no ordinary children. Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia were found in the forest having been raised by wolves. Penelope is not daunted by their howling or their desire to chase squirrels but she is a bit apprehensive about the prospect of them appearing at Lady Constance¿s Christmas Ball.This is a very witty book in the style of the Lemony Snicket Series and is obviously the start of a series as the ending is very inconclusive. Enjoyable reading for children aged 10 and up but also an excellent read-aloud as most adults will enjoy the sly humour
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"All books are judged by their covers until they are read."A most appropriate quote from Agatha Swanburne, founder of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, from which our protagonist, 15-year-old Penelope Lumley, has recently graduated. An appropriate quote for it was the cover that initially drew me in to this story of Miss Lumley and the peculiar inhabitants of Ashton Place.Although only fifteen, Miss Penelope Lumley is an extremely capable young lady, in the mold of Mary Poppins or any number of similar governesses that one might find in mid-nineteenth century England - firm, but not inflexible; kind but not sentimental. Still, her rigorous training could hardly have been preparation for her new position at Ashton Place. Lord Ashton is a puzzling man with curious habits and a strange sense of humor, Lady Constance Ashton is a flighty, excitable woman, and the children (if one may call them children) are three siblings that have apparently been raised by wolves in the wild and forbidding Ashton Forest. Of course, this does not pose a problem for the capable Miss Lumley; however, there are many unexplained mysteries afoot. Who wishes to sabotoge the children's transition into civilized society? What secret is Mr. Ashton hiding? What secrets lie hidden with Ashton Place? What became of the children's parents (and for that matter, of Miss Lumley's parents as well!)? Consistently written in a style that evokes the sensibilities of England in the 1850s, Wood's writing is amusing as well and contains frequent helpful "asides" from the narrator."Now there is a scientific principle that states: Once a train has left the station and is going along at a good clip, it is often fiendishly difficult to slam on the brakes, even if you are clearly headed for trouble (the same holds true for horses that have already left their barns). This principle is Newton's very first law of motion and was considered old news even in Miss Penelope Lumley's day. Penelope had taken physics at Swanburne and, thus, knew all about Newton's laws of motion. Still, she felt that a final, desperate, and heroic attempt to change the course of events that now led inexorably and disatrously to the children attending Lady Constance's party seemed called for, and so she gave it her all. "Lady Constance, your plans for a holiday ball sound delightful, and I am sure the children would hate to miss it," she began, "but coincidentally, I was intending to ask you if I may take them on a ski holiday in France until after the New Year..." To give you an idea how final, desperate, and heroic this suggestion was, it should be noted that Penelope had never skied in her life, nor had she ever been to France that she could recall, nor did she know precisely where one might ski in France. However, she assumed that any country with so sterling a reputation must be equipped with mountains somewhere; the rest of the information she knew she could easily find in an encyclopedia."It's difficult not to admire Miss Lumley; and her young wolfish charges, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia, adore her. You will too.Finally, a word on series, as this is the first book in the new series, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place:I always approach a series with trepidation. There are so many outcomes possible - will I gain years of enjoyment and then a melancholy wistfulness as the series draws to a close as in Harry Potter? Will I invest time and enthusiasm only to be left waiting interminably, as in The Abarat? Will I be interested enough in the outcome but lack the ambition to keep up, as in The 39 Clues? Will I read only one installment and feel satisfied that I have enough feeling and understanding for the series to promote it as in Baby Mouse? The jury is still out on The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. The cover drew me in, but it is the confident Miss Penelope Lumley that may convince me to stay.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the book I was supposed to read for Cybils. I am just now getting to it. It was one of a little over 20 I was unable to read before the deadline. I read the reviews of those on my panel who were able to read it first and envied them. This was such a fun book to read. The idea of a 15 year old governess taking care of children who had been raised by wolves seems preposterous to adults. That is exactly what makes it so charming and what will draw the kids in.The governess is only 15 when she takes on the challenge of not only educating the children in the English language, but also in how to dress properly. I loved the names of the children: Cassiopeia, Beowulf, and Alexander. It gave a since of charm and age to the story. In the midst of trying to teach the children, Penelope finds someone is trying to stop her. The mysteries continue to the end leaving an even bigger mystery that leads us to the next book. I loved it. I believe any fan of the Lemony Snicket books will find this series just as charming.
jfoster_sf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was really interesting. I liked it from the beginning, but at first I wasn't sure if young kids would like a book written from a governess's perspective. After finishing it, I still won't recommend this as a one-size-fits-all everyone will like it, but for the kids who don't mind a slower-paced novel and who like a witty narrator, I will definitely tell them to read this. I especially like the last third of the book, just when I thought I had figured out the mysterious howling and that the book would leave me no surprises, I now have so many questions I need answered that I can't wait to read the next one!
keeneam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was unsure about this book at first, but I found I really enjoyed it. Penelope is a very young governess in charge of taking care of three wild children found in the woods. She manages to reach and connect with them, taming them. However, their are mysteries answered and unanswered throughout the book. How is it this three children came to be abandoned? Were they raised by wolves, or some other mysterious creature? Why is the man of the house so insistent on keeping them? I love the author's style and the asides she provides and the hints at the time period of the book without every stating it is very intriguing. I can't wait for the next one... will some of the mysteries be solved?
livebug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this charming tale -- a little Anne of Green Gables, a little Jane Eyre, a whole lot of the Series of Unfortunate Events -- and am eagerly awaiting the next installment. I work in a school and half the kids there were raised by wolves too!