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The Wonderling

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The Wonderling Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 10
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In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.

Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name - a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck - it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name - Arthur, like the good king in the old stories - and a best friend. Using Trinket's ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur's true destiny.

The Wonderling Reviews | Toppsta

9781406370645

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11th April '18
Bookworm3 read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
The Wonderling was like an unexpected adventure full of whimsical wonder and characters like no others. It captivated me as much as the songcatcher does to Arthur. When I first picked up the book,it drew me in straight away. I had no clue it would become as special to me as it now is. It will be one of those books that later in life I will remember reading and will no doubt stay with me. I recommend that you share this wonderful book with someone special,like a close friend or family member. Everyone can find something to relate with in the book and can easily feel just like Arthur as you join him on his perilous journey. Don’t be put off by the length of this novel-it is worth the time more than you might first imagine! The Wonderling has certainly worked its magic on me,leaving me desperate to finish it but never wanting it to end. It is so different to anything I have ever read before but yet put its own twist on elements I already really loved. It is indescribable;the way the author writes touches you with every word and gives you a whole new view of it all at the very last pages. It is like one long poem transformed into a story;you can hear Arthur’s song in your head with each word. It is probably the most unusual book I have read but one that I will carry with me. I can’t wait to see what the author does next! There is so much more to this book than at first glance-it is an epic tale on the surface and a rocky emotional ride hidden beneath. I think everyone who wants to read something different or likes a challenge should read this book next.
21st September '17
I read it myself (an adult)
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
I really enjoyed this book, it grab me from the first chapter, you will love the main characters, they jump off page at you and enter your imagination, this is a great book I know my son will enjoy, I hope this author writes more like this, the fact the film rights have been bought before the book is even published shows what a great book this is.
29th November '17
I read it myself aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
I think the main theme for this story is friendship. Arthur (the wonderling) befriends a variety of creatures, from humans to Night Crows to groundlings. The initial plot idea is great, and the amount of description in between is incredible. Although the storyline is long, it isn't boring, which is a rather extraordinary feat in itself.

This book is imaginative and highly recommended for children aged 9+ because it is easy to follow, not to scary and all in all, an absolutely fabulous story!!!
2nd November '18
Westy10 read it themselves aged 13 aged 13
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
This book was literally a wonder . Arthur led me off into this interesting , yet gentle world of creatures big and small , with characters good and evil . This book does look intimidating as it is pretty big , and I was put off at first , but once I got into it , there was no stopping me ! I picked this up in Foyles while I used my star reviewer book voucher , and even though I'd already spent my voucher , I had to get this one for it's beautiful cover art alone .The characters are astounding , with such depth and complexity , which really added to the story . The story is simple : at heart , it is an orphan trying to find his place in world he barley knows . Other things throw themselves in , and they plot invests itself in saving the day , but it's calm story telling for much of the book is such a quality it cannot be ignored . I loved this book through and through and the marathon reading time was entirely worth it for such a beautiful ending . Although it has been compared to many other stories , nothing is quite like Wonderling .

As for age limits as such , I can find nothing to fault with this book . Nothing is too evil , though it may get a little boring for younger readers , for the more experienced book lover , this is a truly valuable book . 

  
17th September '17
I read it myself (an adult) & to Sindy aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
I greatly enjoyed The Wonderling. Mira Bartok gives readers an appropriately described Dickensian story for today. There are fascinating elements of fantasy here.

I also enjoyed the way illustrations paired with text, and hope there is a full series to be discovered here soon. I was reminded of the first time I read Brian Selznick while reading this.

A book I would gladly add to my personal library or classroom shelf.
9th January '18
Poohbear read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
5 stars
I loved the characters in the book. They are interesting and Maddie the story fun and interesting.
19th September '17
I read it myself (an adult) , to Darcey aged 6 aged 6 & to Jake321 aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
4 stars
Full disclosure- I chose the worst possible day to begin reading this book to my 6 and 10 year old kids.  The night before, we decided to have a movie night and we all three agreed on 'Miss Pereguine's Home for Peculiar Children'.  BIG MISTAKE.  Yes, it was rated 12, so I should have known better, but as my six year old reasoned- 'I've seen all the Harry Potter films and I wasn't scared', so I relented.  My six year old had nightmares.  My ten year old had nightmares.  I had nightmares.  My husband was annoyed with me for letting them watch it.
  We read the first chapter and there were so many similarities with 'Miss Pereguine' that we had to stop and return to Enid Blyton's 'The Enchanted Wood' for some comfort.  So- in summary, my children refuse to let me read on any further, but I'm going to be very brave and continue the book alone, as the first chapter sounded most intriguing.  I'm hoping my children weren't so scarred by the experience that they'll give it another go some day.
31st January '18
Mcity read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
4 stars
I enjoyed this book. Good descriptions used and I liked the setting. Would appeal to fans of fantasy books.
20th October '17
I read it to Darcey-Boe aged 10 aged 10
The Wonderling 9781406370645
4 stars
Whilst reading this book i envisioned the characters from 'oliver'. It follows number 13/arthur/spike through a journey of finding where he is from. It tells of friendship and low points, but this little grounding doesn't give up. 
 This book is quite long and definitely for the more advanced reader, my daughter tended to drift away from listening in chunks, but it is a true story of hope and courage and would recommend it it you like a bit more traditional stories.
6th November '17
Wolflover37 read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Wonderling 9781406370645
2 stars
My 11 year old daughter started reading this and just couldn't seem to get into it after a couple if chapters. She gave up but eventually went back to it recently and still she says it's just not for her and very confusing. Maybe she will try again when she's a little older? Sorry :-(
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About Mira Bartok

Mira Bartok is a writer and artist whose New York Times best-selling memoir, The Memory Palace: A Memoir, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. The Wonderling is her first novel for young readers. She lives in Western Massachusetts....

More about Mira Bartok

Ratings

    4 stars
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