by Lois Lowry
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books; 1 edition (March 31, 2008)
Brilliant! The Willoughbys is reminiscent of so many classics – Mary Poppins and The Secret Garden, to name only two – all rolled together with a witty and twisted humor that reminds me of the wonderful Roald Dahl.
The Willoughby family consists of four children – the old-fashioned kind – and their awful parents. Each child has a unique personality. The Willoughby children wish for nothing more than a happy ending – like in all great classics. This is where the tale takes its twist. the oldest son, Tim, comes up with a plan to do away with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby, not suspecting their children’s plan, have come up with a plan of their own to rid themselves of the children. The parents set off on an adventure holiday, leaving the children behind with a nanny who just might be able to add “a spoon full of sugar” to their oatmeal.
Without spoiling the plot: There is comedy in this light-hearted story right from the get-go, and a story-within-a-story about a candy-maker/tycoon and his family. Even the glossary of words (sure to be new to your child’s vocabulary) included at the end of the book is fun to read. This is a great book and one that parents will have fun sharing with their children.
Links: Lowry Spins Mischievous Tale of the Willoghbys – NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, July 6, 2008.
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry – a post by Maws Book Blog.
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry – a post by The Reading Zone.