This is the first book of a new series. The books are a fun read, not much of a plot in each book, but the bigger mystery of the children’s past (and Penelope’s past as well) keep the reader interested in the series. Each book reveals a couple small clues about the mysteries. You can read my review of the second book here and the third book here. We have enjoyed the audio version of these books as well. The reading by Kathrine Kellgren is very well done, but I am sure this would be a fun read-aloud. Later on in the series, there are some references to magic (fortune-teller, crystal ball, possible werewolf, etc.), so if you are not comfortable with your child reading about magic, this is probably not a series you want to start.
My Mom-Meter gives this particular book an overall safety rating of 1 (Safe) for ages 8 and up.
Here are the potential moral issues parents might wish to talk with their kids about:
- Lord Ashton believes in the old saying “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.” Potential Discussion Point: Do the children belong to Lord Ashton just because he found them?
- Lady Ashton is very self-centered and does not really like the children. Potential Discussion Point: Does Lady Ashton’s self-centered behavior affect others?
- Because the children are so close to animals, the series definitely presents hunting as a wrong and cruel act. Potential Discussion Point: Is there a difference between correctly stewarding natural resources and destroying natural resources for sport?
From a kid’s perspective: “Kids 8 and up who like the Lemony Snicket books will like these books. They are really easy to read. I give it 4 stars out of 5 stars.”