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The Willoughbys Hardcover – Illustrated, April 7, 2020
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A beautiful new edition of New York Times bestseller The Willoughbys, including an excerpt from the sequel, The Willoughbys Return.
This "sparklingly smart" (Kirkus, starred review) and "hilarious" (Booklist, starred review) story follows four children in an old-fashioned kind of family with parents that—well, they're not all that one would hope for.
The Willoughbys—Timothy; the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their sister, Jane—concoct a diabolical plot to turn themselves into worthy and winsome orphans. Little do they know that Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby, their odious mother and father, have already begun to formulate their own thoroughly despicable plan. Soon a stern nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate and his long-lost son, and even a Swiss postman are pulled into the Willoughby children's schemes to escape their mother and father and live happily ever after...or something like that.
Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious parody pays playful homage to classic works of children’s literature with a fresh twist sure to please.
Frequently bought together
From the Publisher
|The Giver||Gathering Blue||Messenger||Son||Number the Stars|
|Discover More Books by Lois Lowry||Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind his fragile community.||Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. She struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.||Once a utopian community that prided itself on welcoming strangers, Village will soon be cut off to all outsiders. Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter Kira to return with him before it’s too late.||Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. In this thrilling series finale, Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of The Giver.||Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden.|
|Anastasia Krupnik||Anastasia Again||Anastasia at Your Service||Anastasia Off Her Rocker||Anastasia on Her Own|
|Anastasia's tenth year has some good things, like falling in love and really getting to know her grandmother, and some bad things, like finding out about an impending baby brother.||Twelve-year-old Anastasia is horrified at her family's decision to move from their city apartment to a house in the suburbs.||Twelve-year-old Anastasia has a series of disastrous experiences when, expecting to get a job as a lady's companion, she is hired to be a maid.||Anastasia's seventh-grade science project becomes almost more than she can handle, but brother Sam, age three, and a bust of Freud nobly aid her.||Her family's new, organized schedule for easy housekeeping makes Anastasia confident that she can run the household while her mother is out of town, until she hits unexpected complications.|
|The Willoughbys||On the Horizon|
|A delightfully tongue-in-cheek story about parents trying to get rid of their four children and the children who are all too happy to lose their beastly parents and be on their own.||A moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII’s most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.|
Parents' Choice Gold Award
Iowa Children's Choice Award
Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee
West Virginia Children's Book Award
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* "The tone of this darkly dry pastiche is consistently witty, and it's chock-full of accessible parodic references to...classic children's texts...Lowry crafts a tidy plot."—The Bulletin, starred review
* "Lois Lowry, who casts her noble and enviable shadow wide across the landscape of children's literature, from fantasy to realism, here turns her quick, sly gaze to parody, a word which in this case means 'a short novel mocking the conventions of old-fashioned children's books stuffed with orphans, nannies and long-lost heirs.'"—Publishers Weekly, starred review, written by Lemony Snicket
* " Sly humor and a certain deadpan zaniness give literary conventions an ironic twist, with hilarious results....Great fun."—Booklist, starred review
* "With this fey venture into kiddie Gothic, the august two-time Newbery winner and author of the beloved Anastasia Krupnik series proves that a writer can always reinvent herself....Readers who are willing to give themselves up entirely to the sly foolishness will relish this sparklingly smart satire, which treats them with collegial familiarity."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
About the Author
Lois Lowry is the author of more than forty books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling Giver Quartet and popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, Number the Stars and The Giver. Her first novel, A Summer to Die, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry lives in Maine.
- Publisher : Clarion Books; Illustrated edition (April 7, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0358424720
- ISBN-13 : 978-0358424727
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.75 x 7.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #160,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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For the pleasure of your burgeoning babygoths, this book contains:
Lemony-Snicketish idiotic and evil parental figures, and plucky children, complete with baby;
additional Lemony-Snicketish explanations of new vocabulary words of unusual length;
Roald-Dahlish absurd deaths and silly names;
and a Tim-Burtonish cat.
For those who enjoy spotting literary references, there are plenty, and they're referenced at the back. That said, while it's positioned as a parody of a number of other children's books, it didn't really feel parodic as much as just borrowing from those books, which, if you're a fan of those authors, could in fact be a bonus, but I knocked off a star because I really wish this book had more of its own voice or at least did a better job at parody rather than just plopping in references or outright borrowing tropes, characters and scenarios from other works.
Like most books-movies, there are differences and this book is no exception. It is strange, about parents who love eachother so much that they have no love left for thier own kids. As a result, the kids plan and plot to have a better life. It is definitely a satire and better for older readers (9+).
We thought the book was exciting, funny at times, and at other times downright crazy. But overall, we thought it was a great read!
After, I took the opportunity to have my daughter write a little report on the differences between the book and movie, which she actually enjoyed.
Top reviews from other countries
I enjoyed reading it, although it never quite made me laugh; maybe it's because I never read the
books that it's making jokes about.
I imagine most children up to age roughly 10 would wonder whether to take the book seriously or not.
Overall, I think it's an interesting children's book, but the number of children who will be able to enjoy it fully is quite small. Or maybe it's just intended to amuse adults.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 18, 2020