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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book II: The Hidden Gallery Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 22, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When we last saw Miss Penelope Lumley, governess to three wolflike children (but making tremendous strides!), she was trying to recoup after the Incorrigibles had brought Lord and Lady Ashton�s Christmas ball to a disastrous halt. Now home renovations are needed, so the Ashton household is on the move to London, where Lady Ashton hopes she will be the belle of British society, and Penelope looks forward to civilizing the Incorrigibles further with trips to the theater and museums. But the undercurrent of �something wicked this way comes� and the signs of impending trouble for both governess and charges make the air here thick with (dreadful!) possibilities. Of course, there are some happier times in the city, too, as Penelope meets up with her beloved headmistress from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and finds a new friend in a helpful, unemployed playwright. Questions about the children�s backgrounds, Penelope�s connections to them, and Lord Ashton�s own wolfish behavior set the stage for the next act of this most excellent adventure, the follow-up to The Mysterious Howling (2010). Interior illustrations not seen, but no doubt they�ll be most satisfactory. Grades 4-6. --Ilene Cooper

Review

“Another series of uproarious escapades. fans of the first book will be happy to go along for the madcap ride.” (School Library Journal)

“[A] madcap sequel. Great fun, and it wouldn’t be optoomuchstic to expect more to come.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061791121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061791123
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dunyazad VINE VOICE on March 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the sequel to The Mysterious Howling, which I loved when I read it last year. I didn't think The Hidden Gallery reached quite the same level as the first, but it's still an entertaining book and the series as a whole is one that I'd wholeheartedly recommend. I just found this installment a bit frustrating because for about the first two-thirds of the book, no progress at all was made towards resolving the various mysteries that had been introduced in the first one, and even when certain pieces of information were revealed toward the end, we were often left with more questions than answers. One the one hand, this is a good thing because it means that the series can go on longer, and I do enjoy reading about these characters. On the other hand, I'd like the main plot lines to progress at least a bit more in 300+ pages. Maryrose Wood can certainly write a tantalizing story, but in the end it felt like we hadn't gotten very far. Still, Wood remains one of my favourite new authors, and I'm eager to see how the story unfolds in the coming books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got hooked on "The Mysterious Howling," and I have given it to young ladies as gifts -- that 11- or 12-year-old with literary taste is the perfect recipient.

This book, The Hidden Gallery," is interesting and clever, the narrative asides are good but not overdone, the children are smarter, and the book is obsessive about ferns. How I miss ferns, living here in Arizona.

I particularly like the way the book blends the gothic English governess elements with the purely ridiculous.

The concept of "optoomuchstic" was well explained and well-used, without going overboard. My favorite advice from Agatha Swanburne: "No Panicking. No Complaining. No Quitting."

Please, I hope there will be a third book, to discover more about the Ominous Landscape, the attic room, the red hair, and Agatha Swanburne.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The 10 year old says: "This book was very entertaining and funny"

We bought the audiobook and listened to it on the way to and from school. The person reading is absolutely brilliant and definitely needs a raise. She brought the story to life and made us laugh out loud. The word, "Maaayyyheeemm" with raised fist has entered into our family's lexicon.

Very highly recommended, both book and audio. I'm pretty frugal and like my audiobooks to be between $1 and $5. This audiobook falls well out of that range, but was worth every penny. Absolutely brilliant. We bought the next story immediately finishing this one.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since the Lady Constance Ashton's big party was wrecked by three young children raised by wolves, Ashton Place has been in shambles. While workers finish the repairs, the household moves to London where Lady Constance plans on being the toast of the town. But as the three children, dubbed Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia Incorrigible, will be traveling to London as well, her best laid plans just may go, as Burns famously put it, astray.

For those who have not read Maryrose Wood's enchanting THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING, the first book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, the Incorrigibles are three children who had been abandoned in the English countryside, raised perhaps by wild animals and then taken in by Lord Fredrick Aston (much to the chagrin of the above-mentioned Lady Constance). One Miss Penelope Lumley, an orphan herself raised at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, was summoned to be their governess. A clever, optimistic and plucky teenager, Penelope dove straight in to civilizing and educating the Incorrigibles. THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING found them howling at the moon, chasing squirrels and learning Latin. Now, in THE HIDDEN GALLERY, the children are learning about navigation, poetry, theater and geometry, though they are still howling at the moon and chasing squirrels.

THE HIDDEN GALLERY is full of Incorrigible mischief and Penelope's keen plans to tame and teach them. But in London, thanks to her former headmistress at the Academy and with the help of a charming young playwright, Penelope is learning more about the mysterious and strange origins of her three charges as well as something about her own clouded past. There are strange signs and clues at every turn in London. Why has Penelope been given an odd and useless guide to the city?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting dialogue, well developed characters, engaging story line. I am enjoying the series, as I often do with young adult genre books. It doesn't require sexual innuendo or extreme violence to further the plot or provide intrigue/excitement.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Penelope Lumley and the three Incorrigibles, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia, are just recovering from a rather disastrous holiday ball when Miss Lumley is invited to London to visit with her old headmistress. When Penelope suggests the trip to her employer, Lady Ashton decides that the entire household must settle in London. Penelope is excited for all of the learning opportunities, and guided by a rather peculiar and oftentimes misleading guide book, she and the children embark on a journey to London. But there are dangerous people in the big city to avoid, and new friends to be made. As Penelope keeps an eye on her wayward charges, she discovers that her unique guidebook may be another clue to uncovering the secret of her past.

As charming and as riotously funny as its prequel, The Hidden Gallery delves deeper into the greater mysteries surrounding the lives of one plucky governess and her (somewhat) reformed charges. Part of what makes this series of books so enjoyable is Wood's unique voice. She tells a wonderful story while imparting her modern sensibilities and perspectives within the historical setting. It not only is engaging, but makes the books accessible for kids who might find historical fiction a struggle. Charming Penelope is equally as winning--her passion for teaching and for bringing up the Incorrigibles is wonderful, and her sensible outlook on matters concerning the mystery of the hidden gallery and the children's origins just rackets up the suspense. Though answers are scarce and revelations are slow, the action in this installment is more than enough to keep readers entertained. Theatrical in its drama and thrilling in its escapades, the plot of The Hidden Gallery will be hard to tear away from--though who would want to? The book wraps up nicely with the promise of a sequel, new friends, and even a hint at the supernatural. Make sure you have book three, The Unseen Guest, on hand.
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