Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fiction Wednesday - A review of Something Wickedly Weird

Today's book reminded me of some of the titles that I read when I was a child. The author perfectly mixes together magical doings, villains, a mystery, clever touches of humor, and colorful characters. There is also a soupcon of creepiness, just to keep you on your toes.
The Wooden Mile: Something Wickedly Weird

Chris Mould
For ages 9 to 12
Roaring Brook, 2007, 978-159643-383-0
Stanley Buggles is a very ordinary eleven-year-old boy who has had, for the most part, an ordinary and unexciting life. Then one day Stanley gets a letter and he learns that his great-uncle has died and that he, Stanley, has inherited his great-uncle’s house and possessions. Not long after getting the letter, Stanley travels to Crampton Rock to see his inheritance.
   When Stanley gets to Crompton Rock he is amazed to discover that the little fishing village is on an island, and that the only way to get to and from the island is by walking on a long wooden bridge (only at low tide) or by boat. 
   Stanley is fascinated by his great-uncle’s house, Candlestick Hall. It is an enormous place full of interesting objects. There is something wrong though, for the housekeeper, Mrs. Carelli insists that Stanley be indoors before it gets dark. Stanley sees with his own eyes how the streets in the little village empty at dusk after the sounding of a bell, and how several people climb into watch towers. What are they looking out for?
   Things only get more mysterious the next day. A stuffed and very dead pike displayed in the house speaks and tells Stanley to “Stay away from William Cake, and beware of the lady who lives in the water.” Stanley has no idea what this mean. Sometime later he learns how his great uncle died. Apparently the poor man was attacked by some creature and the people in the village had a hard time identifying him because his head was missing.
   Stanley then finds out that the owner of the sweet shop in the town is called William Cake, and an ex-pirate tells the boy that William Cake is a werewolf who turns into a dangerous beast at night. Stanley has no idea if the pirate is telling the truth about William Cake, or if he is lying through his teeth. How on earth did he end up in the middle of such a bizarre and frightening situation?  
   Young readers are sure to find this story thoroughly captivating. Full of adventure, secrets, and touched with dark humor, this is the first in what promises to be a popular new series.

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