Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Wikkeling (MG)

The Wikkeling. Steven Arntson. Illustrated by Daniela J. Terrazzini. 2011. Running Kids Press. 235 pages.

Prologue: The Old City lies on a long, low hill. It is dangerous and dilapidated.

Chapter one: "Sensible students succeed splendidly!" said Ms. Span, a primly dressed teacher sitting behind a computer at the front of the class, her thick, black eyebrows arching over the top of her reading glasses. "Yes, Ms. Span!" said the students. They sat in neat rows that filled the room, faces lit yellow from the light of their own computers.

I'm not sure that The Wikkeling is right for every reader, but I think some readers will find it deliciously creepy and haunting. This dystopian fantasy focuses on education, on the education system. (Though the focus isn't exclusively on schools and classrooms and tests. We do get a wider glimpse of this society, and all the "corrections" they've made.)

In this society, almost every one lives in the Addition, lives in plastic houses, I believe. But that isn't the case for our heroine, Henrietta, or her much younger friend, Rose. She still lives with her family in an older house, though there is still pressure for them all to move to a safer house, a house that wouldn't be a 'danger'. And, Rose, well, she lives in a GREAT place. But that is a big, big secret. These two are friends with Gary, Ms. Span's son. And these three discover something mysteriously wonderful in Henrietta's attic. And it all begins with a discovery of a cat.

I enjoyed this one. I'm not sure I loved it exactly. It was a little too weird. (Like Coraline was a little too weird for me to love.) But I certainly enjoyed it; I'm glad I read it. I think this novel had a great blend to it. I definitely found it interesting. And the chapter on the test is a great example of that. (I also loved the relationship between Henrietta and her grandfather, and how he becomes involved in this mystery.)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Trev 9:10 AM  

Sounds like a book I would like. Thanks for reviewing =D

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