Friday, May 11, 2018

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 11th May 2018: "The Wonderling" by Mira Bartok (Walker Books) @BIGPictureBooks

Our Chapter Book of the Week is the sort of book that will keep you up well into the wee small hours - as it did me, when I only meant to dip into it at first...
Mira Bartok's stunning debut novel "The Wonderling" has been out in hardback for a while and we're kicking ourselves that we missed it first time round. Now though it's out in Paperback and we've been taking a closer dip into the story of Number 13 - later known as Arthur.

Arthur is a Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, fox-like eleven-year-old known only as number 13.

He lives in the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young groundlings exist only to serve and suffer. 

It is the only home he has ever known, a miserable wreck of a place with a harsh overseer who has a heart of obsidian and a vicious temper to match. 

But when unexpected courage leads Number 13 to rescue a young bird groundling named Trinket, the Wonderling is given two incredible gifts: a real name – Arthur, like the good king in the old stories – and a best friend. 

Trinket is bright and clever, and comes up with an amazing invention that allows them both to escape. They embark on a journey of discovery, confirming something Arthur always knew deep down in his heart - that he was meant for more, and was someone special after all.

Wonderfully atmospheric, bittersweet and delicious, it's a dark read at times but you become so embroiled with finding out Arthur and Trinket's fate that you end up completely absorbed in this fabulous tale. We do love a big thick book that keeps you utterly entranced from start to finish, and this achieves that with consummate ease. 

With touches of C.S Lewis and Richard Adams, even a bit of Dickensian dystopia, this is a truly fantastic debut for an author who deserves to soar to even greater heights in the future. 

"The Wonderling" by Mira Bartok is out now, published by Walker Books (Kindly supplied for review).