The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Joan Aiken)

 

Set in an alternative 1832 where the monarch is James III (implying that the House of Hanover never came to the throne) and wolves have entered England during a bad winter by crossing the Channel Tunnel (not opened in our reality until 1994). Unlike the children’s books of today – this was first published in the early 1960s – the whole thing proceeds at a rip-roaring pace with very little build-up. There are a number of other books in the series, all set in the same alternate history but I don’t know if all the characters are the same in each. [Read more…]

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The Return Of The Twelves (Pauline Clarke)

pauline-clarke-bookGive me a good book for any age range, I’ll read it, but there’s definitely something different about the feelings a children’s book can evoke in you! Branwell Brontë’s father once gave him a set of wooden toy soldiers, which Branwell and his sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne played with and wrote stories about, which eventually became masses of childhood writing about the kingdoms of Angria and Gondal. In The Return of the Twelves, a boy named Max discovers the soldiers and finds out that they’re alive. [Read more…]

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