The Wonderling
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.Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!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 Details

TitleThe Wonderling
Author
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherCandlewick Press
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade

The Wonderling Review

  • Shelby Machart
    January 1, 1970
    My 70th read of the year, which I gave 4.25 stars! My Video ReviewI received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book from Candlewick Press, and it comes out on September 26th! I loved loved loved it.The Wonderling is a middle grade steampunk fantasy with elements of adventure. We follow a sweet and shy young groundling (who is part fox and part human) who doesn't have a name, and is referred to as Number 13. Our one-eared protagonist is living in a horrific, oppressive orphanage when an act My 70th read of the year, which I gave 4.25 stars! My Video ReviewI received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book from Candlewick Press, and it comes out on September 26th! I loved loved loved it.The Wonderling is a middle grade steampunk fantasy with elements of adventure. We follow a sweet and shy young groundling (who is part fox and part human) who doesn't have a name, and is referred to as Number 13. Our one-eared protagonist is living in a horrific, oppressive orphanage when an act of bravery introduces him to his first ever (true) friend. The two make plans to better their lives and discover their destinies, and the story continues from there.Though the intended audience for The Wonderling are readers aged 10-14, this book can be enjoyed at any age if you love tales of innocence, courage, and finding a sense of belonging. I can't wait to get a finished copy, because I can tell from the cover and the bits of art in the ARC that the illustrations will be gorgeous.
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  • Annette Hughes
    January 1, 1970
    Magical, heartwarming yet scary, this tale of Arthur, an endearing one-eared fox/human and his intrepid inventor friend, Trinket, and their escape from Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures (!). I never knew what was coming next, but felt completely at home in this alternate Dickensian world. The writing is beautiful, and the ilustrations promise to be classic. A gem not to be missed!
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  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I received a galley of this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This was not a final version of the book, and many of the illustrations were not yet included; the ones that were there were lovely.My feelings on this book are mixed. Wonderling creates a Dickensian-like world where sentient half-human, half-animal groundlings are treated as lesser citizens. There are steampunk inventions and magic and ancient beings. Against this backdrop, a one-eared fox groundling dubbed 13 endures endless a I received a galley of this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. This was not a final version of the book, and many of the illustrations were not yet included; the ones that were there were lovely.My feelings on this book are mixed. Wonderling creates a Dickensian-like world where sentient half-human, half-animal groundlings are treated as lesser citizens. There are steampunk inventions and magic and ancient beings. Against this backdrop, a one-eared fox groundling dubbed 13 endures endless abuses are he labors at Miss Carbunkle's orphanage. 13 is soon named Arthur by a friend, and they soon manage to escape their prison... only to find the outer world is very cruel and dangerous, too. There is a strong vibe of Oliver Twist through the first 2/3 of the book.While the book has its charms--and I'm sure the full illustrations will add to that--Arthur left me exasperated. He has no agency throughout the entire book. He doesn't make any major decisions; his friends and enemies do. He has no survival instincts at all, and considering the harshness of his early life, he should have picked up something. Instead, he is guileless. The plot dictates what happens, not Arthur. I found numerous character actions to be downright befuddling. Much of Arthur's journey is driven by his need to discover his roots--and the answer to that spontaneously comes to his mind at a convenient point at the end.
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  • Miriam Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Beautifully designed and printed book, when I come around to reading this I know it is going to be just 'wonderling'! Won in the Goodreads Giveaways.
  • Mary Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Lonely, shy, scared. The orphaned groundling Number 13 doesn’t have a name until he finds a friend in Trinket, a small wingless bird with a big heart. Can they escape evil Miss Carbunkle’s orphanage? Will they find their families? A delightful fantasy full of adventure.
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  • Alice, as in Wonderland
    January 1, 1970
    It's fine. I can see why Candlewick is really excited for this book; it's crisply written, it's got a lot of quirk, and its Dickensian influences are fairly obvious. But like, that's it. Its racial metaphors are poorly defined and the problem with it being a pretty clear Dickensian send up is that Dickens did a lot of this already, and it doesn't improve on some of his faults, like "good" characters who aren't particularly defined in their "good"ness. I get that memorable villainous characters a It's fine. I can see why Candlewick is really excited for this book; it's crisply written, it's got a lot of quirk, and its Dickensian influences are fairly obvious. But like, that's it. Its racial metaphors are poorly defined and the problem with it being a pretty clear Dickensian send up is that Dickens did a lot of this already, and it doesn't improve on some of his faults, like "good" characters who aren't particularly defined in their "good"ness. I get that memorable villainous characters are a Dickens hallmark, but his "good" characters have always been incredibly bland and this book doesn't improve on that. The villain is fleshed out in this one, which is an improvement. She comes with motivation, bitterness, and backstory, but her good sister is just good! Just good! It made me feel overwhelmingly sympathetic to the villain, but it doesn't even use that unfairness as the reason she deserves some empathy. It ends with a trite little "she was small once", like a lifetime of neglect and overt favoritism shouldn't probably be discussed more extensively? Especially when it's clearly the defining aspect of her past? I'm fine with "cool motivation, still murder", but her motivation is barely even touched on outside of the book telling us what it is. Considering Phoebe is such a total non-entity in this book, probably could have used that to flesh out both the sisters as opposed to just dumping it in the middle of the book and then having Phoebe be this randomly angelic pure being with no personality who wanders in 20 pages before the book is over to give it a happy ending.At the same time, I rarely felt a special-ness to Dickens characters, and Arthur is covered head to toe in it. The book is like "you're the Wonderling!" at the end, and I was put off entirely. What does that mean? Is that good? I assume so? I assume that it's good and special because Arthur is the main character, but that's the only reason. What IS a Wonderling? Should I care? I don't know and the book is over! So I don't! I guess people were waiting for him and he's special and stuff. His unique ability helps a bit in the book, and could be making a point about language and culture divides but if that's what was intended then the poor racial allegories I mentioned earlier make it a little muddled. It's fine. It's a fine book. It's just fine. The only reason I don't give it 2 stars is that I recognize that it's only me being incredibly unimpressed by this, but it's... it's fine. That's just. All it is.
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  • Kailey (BooksforMKs)
    January 1, 1970
    I was delighted with this book about a half-human, half-fox orphan in search of a destiny beyond the four walls of his grim orphanage. Known only as Number 13, the Wonderling is forced to work in the orphanage factory, until a new friend, a tiny bird creature named Trinket, convinces him to escape into the wide world and seek his destiny in the big city.In this world, there are humans, regular animals, and human/animal hybrids named "groundlings". Groundlings can speak and act like humans, but t I was delighted with this book about a half-human, half-fox orphan in search of a destiny beyond the four walls of his grim orphanage. Known only as Number 13, the Wonderling is forced to work in the orphanage factory, until a new friend, a tiny bird creature named Trinket, convinces him to escape into the wide world and seek his destiny in the big city.In this world, there are humans, regular animals, and human/animal hybrids named "groundlings". Groundlings can speak and act like humans, but they have some physical characteristics of animals. They walk upright and wear clothing, but might have a tail, fur, feathers, wings, ears, beak, or snout of an animal. However, groundlings speak like humans, and can't talk to regular animals. I loved the world-building of this story, but I really wanted to know more about how groundlings were first created, more of the history of the world, and what place rare magic and magical beings have in that world. Hopefully, some more of this will be explained in the second book.One of the best things about this book is the rich language and beautiful writing. It really evokes a magical mood into the story, and makes even little details seem important and meaningful. Even though some of the elements of the story are not exactly original (the grim orphanage, the tough streets of a Victorian city, the Dickensian tropes), it's the writing style that gives it a fresh feeling and an authentic voice.The Wonderling, or Number 13, is a deliciously innocent and sensitive little foxboy. He loves music, but music of all kinds is forbidden at the orphanage, so he finds solace in the plink plink of rain falling on the roof. He stops to admire the moonlight flowing through his window into the darkness of his grimy little dorm room. As he stops to delight in the small amount of beauty he can find in his ugly world, the reader pauses with him, and reflects with him on the grand questions of life. "Why am I here? What is my purpose?" These questions are what propel Number 13 out into the world to find his true home, his origins, and his lost family. I loved this main character for his kind little heart, his courage, and his desperate search for anything beautiful or good that his soul can cling to. He is such a tender character, I just want to protect him!Some of the characters feel like they are pulled straight from Dickens' Oliver Twist, especially the rat groundling Quintus, who is practically Fagin with rat ears. And there are other common trope characters, like the evil headmistress of the orphanage and her bumbling sidekick. Sometimes these feel like they are copy and pasted into the story. But other characters are admirably original and interesting, like the energetic and inventive Trinket, the funny little boy named Pinecone who dreams of being a knight, and of course, the strange and wondrous Belisha, the Queen of the Night Crows. I loved all these characters!There are a lot of little ideas, puns, and inside jokes hidden in the book; for instance, there is a ferryman named Norahc, which of course is just Charon spelled backwards. I see what you did there, you clever thing!One of my favorite things about this book is how there is a bewitching focus on music, songs, and the musical sounds of nature. Since Number 13 has been prohibited from any musical contact for most of his life, once he leaves the orphanage he begins to experience different types of music for the first time, and he is full of awe as his starving heart swells with the sounds. The intimacy of his reactions to music pulls the reader into that appreciation for things we usually take for granted. As a musician, I always love reading stories with music at the center.Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
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  • Milliebot
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis review and others posted over at my blog. This is an adorable middle-grade fronted by a timid character who learns to stand up for himself and embrace his hidden talents.I was initially drawn in by the fox on the cover. Number Thirteen, or Arthur, is a charming character and I enjoyed watching him overcome his timidity. He also makes an incredible number of stupid mistakes, but when you think about the fact that he’s around eleven or so and has been trapped in what is essentially 3.5 starsThis review and others posted over at my blog. This is an adorable middle-grade fronted by a timid character who learns to stand up for himself and embrace his hidden talents.I was initially drawn in by the fox on the cover. Number Thirteen, or Arthur, is a charming character and I enjoyed watching him overcome his timidity. He also makes an incredible number of stupid mistakes, but when you think about the fact that he’s around eleven or so and has been trapped in what is essentially a factory for his entire life with no experience in the outside world, it makes complete sense. This is a book where is actions have consequences that effect not only himself, but those around him and I enjoyed the reality of that. His mistakes sometimes cost others greatly.I wanted to know more about the world the groundlings live in. Outside of The Home, we get a little view of the countryside and then the big city of Lumentown. For a nearly 500-page book, I was hoping to get more of a feel for the city, other than its physical layout. There are sections where only humans live, as well as ones with registered groundlings and then there’s a whole underground section where many groundlings toil away. I wanted a better sense of the history of the city and to know why it was structured this way.There are also some mythical creatures in this book – two are specifically mentioned and that lead me to wonder what others exist in this world. We have humans, groundlings and “regular” animals – though they talk too – and a few mythical beasts. I’m not quite sure why the mythical beasts needed to be included in the story. I felt I didn’t get enough information to justify their presence in the story and would have liked them to be more developed.Miss Carbunkle is a little shallow for my taste when it comes to villains. She didn’t have the best childhood, but her master plan throughout the story seems incredibly drastic compared to the resentment she harbors for her family. I’m also not sure what her plan would have accomplished or why those who helped her were willing to assist.There is a central theme of music in this story, which was a nice addition. I haven’t read many music-based books and I know it must be hard to represent the sounds that characters are hearing via the written word. Arthur’s appreciation for music and the role it plays in his life felt like a natural addition to his character.The ARC I received does have some chapter header illustrations and many spots where it says ‘artwork to come’ – I will definitely be picking up a finished copy because I want to see what the art looks like! It does appear that this is the first part of a series, and I plan to continue reading. If you’re looking for a mildly dark middle-grade with a musical theme and lots of animals then I recommend The Wonderling.I received this book for free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    "The Wonderling", opens with an anthropomorphised fox-like animal and what appears to be a pastoral version of Victorian England. In the first page, of the first chapter, we see the imaginative names and elaborate sentence structure. And therefore begins an entertaining adventure that reads as Dickens would. It's filled with breathtaking pages and the illustrations will be done in duotone.Bottom Line: I am in love...love....love. I could sing all day about it. It's like a combination of my favor "The Wonderling", opens with an anthropomorphised fox-like animal and what appears to be a pastoral version of Victorian England. In the first page, of the first chapter, we see the imaginative names and elaborate sentence structure. And therefore begins an entertaining adventure that reads as Dickens would. It's filled with breathtaking pages and the illustrations will be done in duotone.Bottom Line: I am in love...love....love. I could sing all day about it. It's like a combination of my favorite classics. This book is a treasure!Reviewed ARC for Net Galley
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  • Nostalgia Reader
    January 1, 1970
    The description for The Wonderling describes it as Dickensian and steampunk, and I can’t agree more with those two descriptors.Bartok writes and incredibly bleak, melancholic story–I pictured it as a mixture of Dickens and Lemony Snickett–but in the end, hope and perseverance persist in Arthur and his friends long enough that they’re able to save the day. However, while this theme of “don’t lose hope” is always present, even it cannot permeate the bleakness of it all. It can be depressing, but e The description for The Wonderling describes it as Dickensian and steampunk, and I can’t agree more with those two descriptors.Bartok writes and incredibly bleak, melancholic story–I pictured it as a mixture of Dickens and Lemony Snickett–but in the end, hope and perseverance persist in Arthur and his friends long enough that they’re able to save the day. However, while this theme of “don’t lose hope” is always present, even it cannot permeate the bleakness of it all. It can be depressing, but even during the most sad parts, Arthur still remains a strong character and never forgets Trinket’s words to be hopeful.Speaking of Trinket: OH MY GOODNESS TRINKET AND PEVILL ARE SO FRICK-FRACKING ADORABLE, I CAN’T EVEN. They were my favorite characters, not only for their brain-melting adorableness, but also because they were strong and not afraid to break molds. Trinket is an amateur inventor and Pevill is a brave little mouse that would likely feel quite at home in Redwall Abbey.All of the Groundlings were difficult to imagine, as they were all various shades of animal. Some were mostly human, aside from a few traits, but others were almost purely animal, right down to their size, but were still human. The illustrations definitely will be helpful to imagine what each of the characters look like, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story one bit.This is a great book for middle schoolers, but high schoolers and older will certainly find enjoyment in it as well. I can definitely see it as being an amazing read aloud book for younger kids, since some of the vocab and themes are complex and lend themselves to discussion.Although the themes in this book–never lose hope, good triumphs evil, be true to yourself even when you’re not encouraged to be–are fairly typical, they were all written very well, with good characters you could sympathize with, evil characters you could easily hate (with a light dusting of sympathy), and settings that have amazing ambiance. While it’s certainly not a “fluffy” read, it’s a lovely example of quest-type bildungsroman storytelling.Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to review!(Cross posted on my blog
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  • Pammycats
    January 1, 1970
    The WonderlingWritten and illustrated by: Mira BartokI received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review."We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams."Quote from: Arthur O'Shaughnessy, "Ode""You are the Wonderling. It is your destiny. You must sing to the lonely, comfort the frightened, awaken the love in sleeping hearts."Quote from Mom to ArthurPlot:Number 13 is a groundling (part human, part animal). He has just one gorgeously foxy ear. He lives in a horrible ins The WonderlingWritten and illustrated by: Mira BartokI received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review."We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams."Quote from: Arthur O'Shaughnessy, "Ode""You are the Wonderling. It is your destiny. You must sing to the lonely, comfort the frightened, awaken the love in sleeping hearts."Quote from Mom to ArthurPlot:Number 13 is a groundling (part human, part animal). He has just one gorgeously foxy ear. He lives in a horrible institution without love, hope, or even a stray song. Eventually he makes a friend, Trinket (a small, wingless bird-type groundling). After #13 shows unusual bravery in saving Trinket's life, she names him Arthur. Eventually the two escape in order to find family and a place to really belong.Characters and Place Names:I love all the meaningful names in this book. Arthur gets his name from King Arthur - an adventurer, full of bravery and honor. Later in the book, we find that Arthur has family on Tintagel Street. Of course, all you Arthurian lore people out there remember that King A was conceived at Tintagel Castle. Uther Pendragon was given a glamour by Merlin to look like Duke Gorlois who was married to Igraine (Arthur's mom).I love too the poem (see above) from Arthur O'Shaughnessy. This quote is found at the very beginning of the book. It is very apropos as music is both Arthur's salvation as well as his way to make the word better. I couldn't help but wonder if the name, Arthur, was also a lovely tribute to Mr. O'Shaughnessy.The name of the institution where we first meet number 13 is, "Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Children". What a fabulous and horrible name! First, a carbuncle is a cluster of boils filled with bacteria - a truly icky and unwelcome growth. Also, think of the term, "misbegotten". It really does imply that the children there are against the laws of nature. Immediately the reader understands that these creatures there have been abandoned by society and are important to no one. Their fates are decided by the very nature of their birth. There could be no more explicit name.Quote over gate to Lumentown: "Lucas a Non Lucendo" - an illogical or absurd explanation. The name of Lumentown means "light" in Latin but the quote after implies that this is not the case.As I read this book, I began to feel that all the names had some sort of meaning. A trinket is a small, lovely thing that perhaps doesn't have much meaning. At the beginning of the book, everyone only saw our Trinket as a small person without value. However, the story shows us her true worth. Norahc (the ferryman) must be Charon spelled backwards. Charon was the ferryman of Hades who helped people cross the river Styx.I know I missed many more than I picked up. Author and Connection to Story:I did some research on this author. I'm a huge fan of her book, "The Memory Palace" which is a very personal and powerful book. I loved her story so much and highly recommend it. It did though feel very different from "The Wonderling" so I became curious about connections with her own story. I felt sure that, as an author, Ms. Bartok, would be sharing more of herself with us.I knew that the author's childhood had been very intense. She grew up with poverty, an unstable and unhealthy parent, threat of homelessness, and worry. She herself must surely be the model for Arthur. He is small and, at first, tries hard to just be invisible. He must survive and in the end, triumph over his circumstances. I thought that in many ways this book too is very personal for the author. She herself suffered a brain injury which impaired her memory. In "The Memory Palace" the author relates how noise and light can be overwhelming to her mom (who suffers from schizophrenia). I thought this was fascinating as Arthur is super sensitive to life too. He can hear things that others cannot - animals speaking, the fragrant sound of rain, the violent vibrations of machines. I loved this sort of visceral interaction with Arthur's world. I think too that this is why Arthur is so drawn to music. He is sensitive to sound and music. His reactions to different types of music are transportive and touched me. Music is so central to the story. Ms. Bartok's mom was a pianist and music has been an important part of both their lives. Overall:This book felt like an old-fashioned children's book - part fairy tale and part Dickens morality story showing class distinctions. I loved all the little bits related to Dickens and Oliver Twist - the innocent in the city who is almost converted to a life of crime "by friends" but is rescued by his own better nature (music in this case). Many of the characters even fit this mold. Dicken's books tried to shine a light on the wretched conditions in the slums of London and to problems associated with class distinction. Layers of society are also highlighted in this book (humans at the top and groundlings at the bottom). There is even a statue of degraded and groveling animals and wonderlings holding up a statue of glorious men. This felt so similar to the Ministry of Magic lobby in the Harry Potter books (with witches/ wizards on the too with pathetic house elves, goblins, etc. underneath).The food and locations are just beautifully rendered. The author seems to delight in filling her world with details which flesh out her creation and made it so immersive.My book copy does not have many illustrations yet. However, it did have a few. I also looked online and found several other illustrations for this book. They look to be lovely and (again) very detailed pen and ink or wood cut. They look gorgeous and I can't wait see the final copy when I buy it.This book is just full of wonderful jewels that require multiple readings in order to appreciate it fully. It is truly a new classic that will stand the test of time.
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  • Verena Schulze
    January 1, 1970
    Heute erscheint im Aladin Verlag „Der Wunderling“ von Mira Bartók – die magische Geschichte des einohrigen Erdlings Nr. 13. Nr.13 ist halb Fuchs, halb Mensch – ein sogenannter Erdling – und lebt in einem Waisenhaus, dem Heim für widerspenstige und missratene Geschöpfe, das in einem futuristisch-viktorianischen Land angesiedelt ist. Außer einem kleinen Schlüssel und einem Stück der Babydecke in der er gefunden wurde besitzt er nichts – nicht mal einen Namen. Das Waisenhaus in dem er lebt ist tägl Heute erscheint im Aladin Verlag „Der Wunderling“ von Mira Bartók – die magische Geschichte des einohrigen Erdlings Nr. 13. Nr.13 ist halb Fuchs, halb Mensch – ein sogenannter Erdling – und lebt in einem Waisenhaus, dem Heim für widerspenstige und missratene Geschöpfe, das in einem futuristisch-viktorianischen Land angesiedelt ist. Außer einem kleinen Schlüssel und einem Stück der Babydecke in der er gefunden wurde besitzt er nichts – nicht mal einen Namen. Das Waisenhaus in dem er lebt ist täglich aufs Neue eine Herausforderung für Leib und Seele. Er wird gehänselt, weil er nur ein Ohr hat. Doch mit diesem einen Ohr hört er viel besser als alle seine Widersacher zusammen. Vor allem hört er immer wieder eine Melodie – ein Relikt seiner Zeit vor dem Waisenhaus …Dann lernt er Trixi kennen, eine Vogeldame ohne Flügel, die ihm zum ersten Mal in seinem Leben einen richtigen Namen gibt: Arthur. Und sie schenkt ihm noch etwas viel Wertvolleres: Ihre bedingungslose Freundschaft! Gemeinsam gelingt es den beiden Freunden, aus dem Waisenhaus zu fliehen und sich auf die Suche nach Arthurs Herkunft zu machen.Die Suche verläuft nicht so, wie Arthur sich das vorgestellt hat. Und als er dann auch noch auf die Spur eines fürchterlichen Komplotts gerät beginnt der nervenaufreibende Kampf um die Musik, die Träume und um Arthur selbst… denn es ist Arthurs Bestimmung die Welt zu retten. Er ist der Wunderling.Schon das Cover hat mich begeistert. Es kommt ganz im Stil alter Märchenbücher daher. Die wunderschönen Illustrationen im Innern des Buches ergänzen das Cover perfekt. Ein richtiger Schatz im Bücherregal!Der Erzählstil von Mira Bartók ist ebenso wunderschön. Ein wenig fühlte ich mich an „Der Wind in den Weiden“ erinnert. Leise, schöne Bilder, Worte sich direkt ins Herz hinein schreiben …Die Charaktere sind bis ins kleinste Detail zauberhaft gezeichnet.Ich liebe Arthur, ich vergöttere Trixi und ebenso intensiv hasse ich Miss Carbunkle… Die Geschichte um Arthur entspricht der klassischen Heldenreise – ein Erfolgsgarant für viele tolle Bücher und Filme. Wen das näher interessiert, der findet bei Familie Walter eine tolle Erläuterung.Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blachit la campagne, je partirai. (Victor Hugo)Die Welt der Erdlinge und Menschen ist stimmig aufgebaut . wieder mit einer unglaublichen Liebe zum Detail.Bereits vor Fertigstellung des Manuskriptes sicherte sich Hollywood 2016 die Filmrechte und verpflichtete den britischen Regisseur Stephen Daldry (»Billy Eliott« / »Der Vorleser«) für die Verfilmung. Ich bin gespannt auf die Filmadaption – vor allem wie die Erdlinge filmisch umgesetzt werden.Ich vergebe 5 von 5 LieblingsLesesessel für diesen zauberhaften Fantasyroman über Freundschaft, die Liebe zur Musik und warum es sich lohnt niemals aufzugeben!
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  • The Book Girl (Andrea)
    January 1, 1970
    Previously posted on The Young Girl Who Loved BooksThis is such a delightful little tale about a character named Number 13. He is a cute little half human, half-fox. He is unfortunately stuck inside an orphanage, and the situation is quite grim. He is dying to get out, to explore who he is and what his destiny to come might be. He is forced to work in the horrible orphanage factor until he can escape with the aid of his friend Trinket. The world building in this story is so interesting. It is co Previously posted on The Young Girl Who Loved BooksThis is such a delightful little tale about a character named Number 13. He is a cute little half human, half-fox. He is unfortunately stuck inside an orphanage, and the situation is quite grim. He is dying to get out, to explore who he is and what his destiny to come might be. He is forced to work in the horrible orphanage factor until he can escape with the aid of his friend Trinket. The world building in this story is so interesting. It is comprised of both humans, regular animals, as well as human and animal hybrids, that are called groundlings. These guys can speak and act like typical humans but they have some physical characteristics of animals. I found this to be an interesting part of the story it really captured my interest. The writing in this novel is beautiful and eloquent. It is filled with meaningful words and magical stories. The writer describes things in great detail without diving into word vomit, which can be a hard line to walk. I think the best part about the writing is that feels very authentic. One of my favorite things about this book is how there is a bewitching focus on music, songs, and the musical sounds of nature. Since Number 13 has been prohibited from any musical contact for most of his life, once he leaves the orphanage he begins to experience different types of music for the first time, and he is full of awe as his starving heart swells with the sounds. The intimacy of his reactions to music pulls the reader into that appreciation for things we usually take for granted. As a musician, I always love reading stories with music at the center.Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to receive an e-copy of this book from Candlewick Press through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest, and completely unbiased review. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Marzie
    January 1, 1970
    I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Mira Bartók has ventured back into the rich world of children's literature with a book for middle-grade children. One of the powerful lessons of this book, which is told as a sort of old-fashioned, Victorian-era chapter-book a la Dickens, is that to be broken is not to be without true friends or promise in life. This book begins in a workhouse, with a I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Net Galley, in exchange for an honest review.National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Mira Bartók has ventured back into the rich world of children's literature with a book for middle-grade children. One of the powerful lessons of this book, which is told as a sort of old-fashioned, Victorian-era chapter-book a la Dickens, is that to be broken is not to be without true friends or promise in life. This book begins in a workhouse, with a life of drudgery and maltreatment that could come straight out of Oliver Twist. Thirteen, soon to be renamed as Arthur by the loving Trinket (the best orphanage sidekick anyone could hope to have), is a lost, lonely and downtrodden one-eared fox boy. At first, I was rather troubled by how fearful and lacking in courage Arthur was, over almost the first quarter of the book. He was so beaten down, and yet Trinket, and other friends, eventually manage to draw great things out of Arthur and he finds magic and wonder in himself, in spite of any perceived disability. Over the course of the beautifully illustrated book (and the galley didn't even have half the art of the final work, people!) we see Arthur emerge as stronger, braver and building his own rich life.For me, this book is personal and poignant because my youngest child, who had permanent health issues, was adopted out of bleak circumstances in the foster care system. At age 8, when he came to live with us, much of his manner resembled that of Arthur's. Almost everything was perceived as too great a hurdle to even dare to try to overcome. (Ironically, including reading, for a time.) And that forms part of my love for this book. It is a story of a wounded boy, who had lost much but found a chosen family and life of his own making, all with the support of friends. You will take a magical journey, with Arthur, to the future and the past, to 17 Tintagel Road and back to where we started.
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  • Mark Buxton
    January 1, 1970
    My name is Arthur, and I was a one-eared fox groundling at Ms. Carbunkle's orphanage. I won't describe the terror I felt around her or try to explain the strange widgets she forced us to make. My friend Trinket talked me into escaping, and I now find myself alone in Lumentown with my new friend Quintus. He's the only one other than Trinket who knows about my sensitive hearing. He's taught me how to become a thief, but I don't want to take things that don't belong to me. However, while inside a w My name is Arthur, and I was a one-eared fox groundling at Ms. Carbunkle's orphanage. I won't describe the terror I felt around her or try to explain the strange widgets she forced us to make. My friend Trinket talked me into escaping, and I now find myself alone in Lumentown with my new friend Quintus. He's the only one other than Trinket who knows about my sensitive hearing. He's taught me how to become a thief, but I don't want to take things that don't belong to me. However, while inside a woman's home, I've discovered a terrible secret about Ms. Carbunkle's plans. I know she hates music, but she wants to eliminate it everywhere. I came to Lumentown to learn about my past, but I must do something to save all of the beautiful sounds in the world.I enjoyed the overall book, although the early part left me wondering where it was headed. It was clear the widgets were a very important part of the plot, but few clues were given about their purpose until Arthur came to Lumentown. The author was able to effectively describe the loneliness and despair of the orphans, as they had no freedom, no hope, and were discouraged from developing any friendships. Arthur's character was the shining star in the book. I developed a sympathy for him when I read about his isolation, punishment, and bullying. Despite all the negativity in his life, he kept a positive attitude. Admittedly, fear of the unknown made him reluctant to escape the orphanage, but he kept his virtuous personality once he left. He was honest and pure and I feared for his innocence. It was clear that Quintus was trying to corrupt him (it was a matter of survival), but Arthur refused to use his thieving skills against other people. Arthur's bravery and moral compass led him to a dramatic conclusion back in the orphanage. I recommend The Wonderling to lovers of adventure and animal characters. The conclusion is most enjoyable!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    This good-natured tale shows the life and adventures of a creature who is a mixture of both fox and boy, as he becomes a member of The Home - a place for other creatures known as Foundlings to live when they are unwanted or lost. This creature initially doesn't even have a name, only called 13 due to the medallion around his neck, but he soon discovers that The Home is not the refuge you might imagine. 13 is such a lovable character with his one ear and kind hearted mannerisms; as such it's easy This good-natured tale shows the life and adventures of a creature who is a mixture of both fox and boy, as he becomes a member of The Home - a place for other creatures known as Foundlings to live when they are unwanted or lost. This creature initially doesn't even have a name, only called 13 due to the medallion around his neck, but he soon discovers that The Home is not the refuge you might imagine. 13 is such a lovable character with his one ear and kind hearted mannerisms; as such it's easy for the reader to become invested in the friendships he makes and to become angered but what could only be considered a sad and oppressive fake "salvation" for him and others like him. But fear not, an unexpected friendship blossoms early on and gives 13 not only a name all for himself, but also an adventure all planned out to escape the evils within The Home.Without question the tale has an older feel to it akin to Dickens or Lewis Carroll and yet still remains accessible to a new generation of children - it's admittedly always going to be difficult to criticise a book which features so many cute characters (particularly animals) and a whimsical plot but the world building just has that slightly magical, highly creative feel to it that makes it a joy to read. But more so than this, the largest appeal for this book is absolutely the illustrations; they are stunning. Even as an adult, the illustrations are too beautiful to ignore or skim over which makes the story a nostalgic, fairy tale read for adults too.Beautiful illustrations, lovely characters, a fairy tale feel and a gorgeous addition to any young readers (and adults!) shelf. ARC provided free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Katy Noyes
    January 1, 1970
    Superb otherworldly adventure with a great baddie and a classic feelIn this world, some are born as part human and part animal - groundlings. These poor beings are often rejected, excluded and marginalised. Young groundlings can be sent to Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, as homely a place as it sounds. Number 13 is one such unfortunate, a one-eared part-fox with no name, no family and no friends. Forced into bravery by the bullying of another orphan, he makes a frien Superb otherworldly adventure with a great baddie and a classic feelIn this world, some are born as part human and part animal - groundlings. These poor beings are often rejected, excluded and marginalised. Young groundlings can be sent to Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, as homely a place as it sounds. Number 13 is one such unfortunate, a one-eared part-fox with no name, no family and no friends. Forced into bravery by the bullying of another orphan, he makes a friend in Trinket, a wingless bird, and the two manage to think of a way to escape their prison. Now named Arthur by his friend, the pair run from their persecutors into the unknown wider world, where danger and adventure await them, and a dastardly plot that they may have to attempt to foil...This felt a little like the Redwall series, The Letter for the King, books about animals and quests, with villains and banding together and pooling strengths.Arthur is the put-upon boy trying to find his place in the world, and his history. Trinket is the resourceful and upbeat friend, not quite as well-developed who allows him to feel hope, camaraderie and helps him out of the rut and into the world where the plot can move on. Our bad guy, or girl - Miss Carbunkle - is deliciously wicked. Of course she runs a revolting orphanage, and she also has dark powers and evil creatures at her bidding. A great quest / adventure story, with a classic-looking cover, chapter pages and feel to it. It's quite a hefty-looking tome, though it rattles along nicely. I would say confident readers of 9 and above will comfortably become enthralled by it.With thanks to Walker Books for the sample reading copy.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Marvelous book. Its book birthday is September 26th! Happy Birthday! I’ve had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this debut novel by Mira Bartók, who has created a story that begins with sadness and abuse and ends with heroic deeds by those who overcome evil and learn that never giving up helps many a started out-terrible day. It’s the story of Arthur, first named “Number 13” by the terrifying Miss Carbuncle who believes that her charges exist only to serve. It is a dark, dark day when Part anima Marvelous book. Its book birthday is September 26th! Happy Birthday! I’ve had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this debut novel by Mira Bartók, who has created a story that begins with sadness and abuse and ends with heroic deeds by those who overcome evil and learn that never giving up helps many a started out-terrible day. It’s the story of Arthur, first named “Number 13” by the terrifying Miss Carbuncle who believes that her charges exist only to serve. It is a dark, dark day when Part animal/part human creatures, “groundlings”, must go to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, a place not pleasant in any way, a place where even songs and music are forbidden. The Wonderling emerges as a sweet, one-eared fox-like eleven-year-old who only knows his number, 13, from the etching on his back. His voice is realistic and keeps us intrigued In one brave moment, the small time when Wonderlings are supposed to have an “outdoor” time, Number 13 goes to the rescue of Trinket, a young bird-like groundling, who’s being tossed in the air like a basketball by bullying rats. This, plus the adventure to come with these two working together, is a true quest story, one where Arthur, so named by Trinket, takes us on an adventure that makes us hold our breaths when each new danger emerges. And it makes us sigh when we are glad that the present challenge has been overcome. Mira Bartók has given us high fantasy filled with magic, with gorgeous illustrations throughout, and with steampunk overtones. I am reminded of Bilbo Baggins when I think of Arthur’s adventures, one he is sometimes reluctant to make, but one that he does with surprising courage.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    A Dickensian-steampunk-middle-grades-Fantasy?? Yes, please!As the Wonderling begins we are introduced to Number 13, a foxlike human/animal hybrid, and the cruel and unforgiving world in which he lives. The aesthetic of this book and the world created by the author are lovely despite the cruelty we find. The Dickensian inspirations are evident, so much so that I wouldn't have had a second thought had a character uttered the phrase, "Please, Sir, I want some more." The groundlings we meet have bee A Dickensian-steampunk-middle-grades-Fantasy?? Yes, please!As the Wonderling begins we are introduced to Number 13, a foxlike human/animal hybrid, and the cruel and unforgiving world in which he lives. The aesthetic of this book and the world created by the author are lovely despite the cruelty we find. The Dickensian inspirations are evident, so much so that I wouldn't have had a second thought had a character uttered the phrase, "Please, Sir, I want some more." The groundlings we meet have been abandoned to the care of Miss Carbunkle and her home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. They are a rag-tag group of creatures and all the requisite roles are filled. We have the group of bullies with their vicious ringleader who deals with his own troubles by torturing others, the band of allies who pull together when they are needed led by a singular but true and loyal friend and the ultra-good adult who subverts the cruelty of the villianous Miss Carbunkle. Of course, adventure is had and questions are answered, though, not all of them. Overall this was a really enjoyable read, but I do wish Arthur (number 13) had done some things. He is simply pulled along by the plot, he doesn't make any decisions for himself or have any say in his fate at all. He reacts, he doesn't act. The aesthetic and atmosphere of the book bump it up a star for me, the narrative was fine but not groundbreaking. I would recommend this to middle-grades fantasy-adventure fans and animal-adventure fans.I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Robyn
    January 1, 1970
    I have... mixed feelings. This book felt too long for the story it was trying to tell. There were a lot of parts I felt were drawn out. (view spoiler)[Example: The crow offers to fly them somewhere - tomorrow. So they go back to their sleeping hole to wait for tomorrow and they find someone else in their sleeping space. So they go back to the crow and then decide to leave tonight instead! (hide spoiler)] It was just so unnecessary. An extra couple of pages for nothing that added to the story. Th I have... mixed feelings. This book felt too long for the story it was trying to tell. There were a lot of parts I felt were drawn out. (view spoiler)[Example: The crow offers to fly them somewhere - tomorrow. So they go back to their sleeping hole to wait for tomorrow and they find someone else in their sleeping space. So they go back to the crow and then decide to leave tonight instead! (hide spoiler)] It was just so unnecessary. An extra couple of pages for nothing that added to the story. There were a few parts like that when you just wanted the story to move along. Then there is the ending - the fox is the Wonderling, which wasn't hard to figure out considering the title of the book. For all the descriptiveness in this book they really don't tell you anything about what this means. It explains his gifts, sure. ok. I didn't know there was some prophecy, or that they were waiting for a wonderling, until the end when he miraculously remembers and is like "Hey! I'm the long waited for wonderling". I was like "we were waiting for a wonderling?". The story itself was really good. It has great characters with lots of personality and a fantastic magical setting. I loved the ending (aside from previous complaints of lack of wonderling buildup). I just felt it could have been pared down a little. Remove some unnecessary fluff. That may just be me. I'm not a huge fan of overly descriptive books unless they're written in just such a way that they're almost poetic. This wasn't quite that for me. This was provided to me as an e-copy by Netgalley for review.
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  • Karla
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers program for the advance reader copy. The Wonderling is an enchanting story for young (10-14 yrs) and also older readers who love quests, good vs. evil tales, and getting immersed in a old-fashioned fantasy narrative. The main protagonist is a lovely, innocent foxling-human orphan who has to learn how to be brave, establish friendships, and overcome hardship in a search for his destiny. There are many fascinating animal-human characters, old magic creat Many thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers program for the advance reader copy. The Wonderling is an enchanting story for young (10-14 yrs) and also older readers who love quests, good vs. evil tales, and getting immersed in a old-fashioned fantasy narrative. The main protagonist is a lovely, innocent foxling-human orphan who has to learn how to be brave, establish friendships, and overcome hardship in a search for his destiny. There are many fascinating animal-human characters, old magic creatures, and humans of various classes and motivations. The settings are beautifully described and range from wretched dungeons and underground environs to charming, warm tree homes to a strange white city made of luminescent stone. There is a very touching theme of the joy of music and song woven throughout the story. Mira Bartok has created a wonderful universe that is a pleasure to visit. I read an advance reader copy - it will be great to see the published version complete with illustrations.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I would definitely call this book an epic fantasy! I loved the fantastical nature of the story and, though it took me a while to finish it, I enjoyed the journey that Mira Bartok took me on as I followed Thirteen (Arthur) in his search for answers about his family and about himself. One of the ways I know that I enjoyed this book because there was at least one character who I really detested, and I only truly dislike a character when I am fully invested in a book. I also enjoyed meeting, and lea I would definitely call this book an epic fantasy! I loved the fantastical nature of the story and, though it took me a while to finish it, I enjoyed the journey that Mira Bartok took me on as I followed Thirteen (Arthur) in his search for answers about his family and about himself. One of the ways I know that I enjoyed this book because there was at least one character who I really detested, and I only truly dislike a character when I am fully invested in a book. I also enjoyed meeting, and learning about, the other friends that Thirteen meets and makes along his journey. This story also addresses the idea of equality in a way that I think my 4th grade students will really understand. I would definitely use this book to have bigger conversations about equality in the real world and how it might compare to this story.
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  • Edie
    January 1, 1970
    A book not to be missed. It is Dickensian in flavor, an orphan fox living in deplorable conditions in an orphanage, finally gains a friend (a small wingless bird) who gives him a new name instead of a number, Arthur, and also courage to go outside the walls. He is definitely an "innocent" and is deceived by a Fagin type and almost lured into a life of crime but it is music that "saves" him and which he ultimately saves. The author is ambitious in the number of settings she creates as well as the A book not to be missed. It is Dickensian in flavor, an orphan fox living in deplorable conditions in an orphanage, finally gains a friend (a small wingless bird) who gives him a new name instead of a number, Arthur, and also courage to go outside the walls. He is definitely an "innocent" and is deceived by a Fagin type and almost lured into a life of crime but it is music that "saves" him and which he ultimately saves. The author is ambitious in the number of settings she creates as well as the many characters and all are well realized.....their are hovels, and sewers and cozy tree homes and an elegant mansion. One of the most positive aspects of the book (and there are many) is a final thought that reminds us that even villainous characters once had kind hearts.....I loved every minute I spent with this book.
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  • Dawn
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book for free through a giveaway at Goodreads.com. When I opened the packaging this book arrived in, I found myself wishing it was Christmas morning and that I was 8 years old again... It is such a beautiful looking book that any true book lover won't be able to help themselves from picking it up, turning the pages...When I started reading, I wished my son was 8 years old again! This is definitely a book for sharing - with both adult and child getting more from it toget I received a copy of this book for free through a giveaway at Goodreads.com. When I opened the packaging this book arrived in, I found myself wishing it was Christmas morning and that I was 8 years old again... It is such a beautiful looking book that any true book lover won't be able to help themselves from picking it up, turning the pages...When I started reading, I wished my son was 8 years old again! This is definitely a book for sharing - with both adult and child getting more from it together than they would separately.The story itself is well-written, warm, hopeful, and interspersed with some giggly moments for the adults.There are some amazing illustrations, which add to the beauty of the book as a physical object and to the beauty of the story.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Throughout this book I kept rooting for “Number 13” (the fox). Ordinarily, this would not be a book I was drawn to given the fantasy-type world in which it surrounds, however, even with my uncreative mind I was able to easily follow along and picture all the characters and their adventures in my mind. An added benefit was that the author included such AMAZING illustrations throughout the book, I found myself excited to come across the next illustration as they tied into the plot of the book and Throughout this book I kept rooting for “Number 13” (the fox). Ordinarily, this would not be a book I was drawn to given the fantasy-type world in which it surrounds, however, even with my uncreative mind I was able to easily follow along and picture all the characters and their adventures in my mind. An added benefit was that the author included such AMAZING illustrations throughout the book, I found myself excited to come across the next illustration as they tied into the plot of the book and helped the reader to picture the characters as the author intended. Ultimately, I found myself cheering for “Number 13,” as I couldn’t put the book down hoping he conquered his quest successfully.For the full review, visit: https://fortheloveofthepageblog.wordp...
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  • Tim Gray
    January 1, 1970
    This is a beautiful book - gorgeous illustrations and a lovely Dickensian steampunk feel to it. The setting and world building really are first rate. I got my copy through a Goodreads giveaway and I have really enjoyed reading it - I'd probably have given it that extra star if the main protaganist Arthur/13/The Wonderling had been a little bit more active in his own story - just a it to much drifting for me. That said the conclusion was satisfying, had some surprises and enough loos ends for ano This is a beautiful book - gorgeous illustrations and a lovely Dickensian steampunk feel to it. The setting and world building really are first rate. I got my copy through a Goodreads giveaway and I have really enjoyed reading it - I'd probably have given it that extra star if the main protaganist Arthur/13/The Wonderling had been a little bit more active in his own story - just a it to much drifting for me. That said the conclusion was satisfying, had some surprises and enough loos ends for another book (whilst still 'paying out' on the main story line).
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  • Eleanor Slater
    January 1, 1970
    My what a wonderful book! This is the exception to the rule of "don't judge a book by its cover" - please do! The content is as whimsical and beautiful as the cover, full of magic (both good and bad), adventure, creatures of all types and combinations (for the heroes of the tale are all "groundlings" - part animal, part human) and a real moral core concerned with friendship, courage and being true to yourself. A fantastic bedtime story for anyone who loves a tale about an underdog taking on the My what a wonderful book! This is the exception to the rule of "don't judge a book by its cover" - please do! The content is as whimsical and beautiful as the cover, full of magic (both good and bad), adventure, creatures of all types and combinations (for the heroes of the tale are all "groundlings" - part animal, part human) and a real moral core concerned with friendship, courage and being true to yourself. A fantastic bedtime story for anyone who loves a tale about an underdog taking on the powers that be.
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  • Karen Maurer
    January 1, 1970
    This book spent a lot of time world building, setting us all up for a series. The main character, a little fox-person with one ear, must figure out who he is and why he is so different. It's not his animal/human mix that is different. Groundlings (human animal hybrids that are sentient) are all over the place. It is his ability to hear so very well, even with only one ear, and his ability to understand the animals he hears.Every time he escapes from one bad situation, he finds himself in another This book spent a lot of time world building, setting us all up for a series. The main character, a little fox-person with one ear, must figure out who he is and why he is so different. It's not his animal/human mix that is different. Groundlings (human animal hybrids that are sentient) are all over the place. It is his ability to hear so very well, even with only one ear, and his ability to understand the animals he hears.Every time he escapes from one bad situation, he finds himself in another pickle. This little guy and his friends are likable and feisty. I'll read the sequel!
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  • Gertievandermint
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely and touching book. This is a beautifully written book that has the feeling of an ancient fairy tale. It is very sweet, and very magical, but it is also pretty harrowing. The human-animal hybrids who are the main characters here are slaves in the Dickensian world that Bartok has drawn with such detail. Bartok gives us a strong sense of how horribly these "groundlings" are treated by humans, and she also gives us a strong sense of their will to survive and even be happy, in spite of What a lovely and touching book. This is a beautifully written book that has the feeling of an ancient fairy tale. It is very sweet, and very magical, but it is also pretty harrowing. The human-animal hybrids who are the main characters here are slaves in the Dickensian world that Bartok has drawn with such detail. Bartok gives us a strong sense of how horribly these "groundlings" are treated by humans, and she also gives us a strong sense of their will to survive and even be happy, in spite of their horrifying circumstances. This is a humane, lovely, and magical book.
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  • J.D. Dehart
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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