The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (Book 1)

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The League of Beastly Dreadfuls  (Book 1) Mystery & Adventure
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Product Description

A creepy Victorian house, secretive aunties, and a great escape combine in this debut that is part Mysterious Benedict Society, part Roald Dahl, and all quirky, smart, hilarious storytelling. Join the League. . . .

Anastasia is a completely average almost-eleven-year-old. That is, UNTIL her parents die in a tragic vacuum-cleaner accident. UNTIL she’s rescued by two long-lost great-aunties. And UNTIL she’s taken to their delightful and, er, “authentic” Victorian home, St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane. But something strange is going on at the asylum. Anastasia soon begins to suspect that her aunties are not who they say they are. So when she meets Ollie and Quentin, two mysterious brothers, the three join together to plot their great escape! BONUS: Includes an excerpt of Viola Snodgrass’s Etiquette Manual for the Prim and Proper Sort!

* “Concocting an eerie setting positively made for Unfortunate Events, Grant threads her narrative with direct addresses to Readers and delicious turns of phrase. . . . A yummy debut.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Just the right mix of humor, magic, maliciousness, and suspense.” —Booklist

“This adventure is filled with enough mystery and humor to keep readers wondering what will happen next. A solid debut reminiscent of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” —School Library Journal

“Wonderfully witty. It reminds me of Roald Dahl’s The Twits only in an insane asylum.” —Chris Grabenstein,Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Editorial Reviews

Two sinister spinsters spirit a seemingly ordinary fifth-grader away one day to a moldering former asylum, informing her that she's become an orphan and they are her great-aunts. Yeah, right."Now sit up straight and eat your Lumps." Locked into her room at night by "Aunts" Primrose and Prudence and fed only Mystery Lumps, Anastasia nearly succumbs to misery at first. But like her capable literary heroine, detective/veterinarian/artist Francie Dewdrop, she's made of sterner stuff—and is soon turning up startling clues, terrifying discoveries and, in the asylum's darker reaches, other young captives with decidedly peculiar abilities. Along with drawing most of her characters from Roald Dahl's casting company and concocting an eerie setting positively made for Unfortunate Events, Grant threads her narrative with direct addresses to Readers and delicious turns of phrase: "A pink-patterned carpet runner spooled down the steps like a monstrous spotty tongue." Not to mention m ultiple atmosphere-lightening references to Anastasia's "tragic flatulence" and the odd wade into the nearby bog to gather leeches for, ugh, nonmedicinal purposes. Anastasia herself displays a few quirks, such as a sudden appetite for moths. Despite revelations following a rescue by a pair of shape-changing allies, the author leaves at least one sequel's worth of unexplained puzzles. Portillo's frequent vignettes add a properly cobwebby Gothic look. A yummy debut, though readers with sensitive stomachs would be well-advised to check them at the door. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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