Friday, September 25, 2009

The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry

Book 32 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 1 of 25 for the MG Book Challenge
Book 3 of 55 for the Countdown Challenge (2008)
Awards: NCTE Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts; Parent's Choice Award/Honor Book; Kirkus Editors Choice; Booklist Editors' Choice; E.B. White Read Aloud Shortlist

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter and I drove from Charlotte to Washington, DC last night. We are going to be attending The National Book Festival tomorrow, so I thought I would bring along an audiobook from one of the visiting authors, Lois Lowry. I've never actually read a Lois Lowry book and I decided it was time to remedy the situation.

The Willoughbys is an excellent tongue-in-cheek parody of "old-fashioned" storytelling complete with mean parents, orphans, and industrious children. The four Willoughby children are named Tim, A & B (twins both named Barnaby), and Jane. They don't like their parents, and their parents don't like them. So, the children encourage the parents to go on a dangerous vacation tour while the parents get a nanny for the children and attempt to sell the house out from underneath them. With the help of their wonderful nanny and a lonely candy tycoon, everything works out well, as any classic children's tale should.

This book was just hilarious. The reader, Arte Johnson, was so brilliant, I laughed out loud dozens of times. I think that older kids familiar with tales like Oliver, Heidi, Pollyanna, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are more likely to 'get' the humor. But, my 4th grader thought it was a terrific story too. There are also some great vocabulary words in this book--ignominious, affable, and nefarious to name a few--and an equally funny glossary at the end. This would make a great read-aloud for older children. Definitely recommended.

Also reviewed by:
Did I miss yours?

Source: Library Audiobook


pussreboots said...

Thank you for the link to my review. I appreciate it. I haven't read it to my oldest yet but I have described the plot to him. He seems interested so I'll probably reading it to him in the near future.

Charley said...

I hope to read this book soon.

Melissa said...

You've never read ANY Lois Lowry? For shame, Tricia. I could pull a Cami, and say I'm not talking to you until you read Number the Stars and The Giver AT LEAST.

I won't though.

Hope the National Book Festival is TONS of fun.

Heather said...

Did you check this out from the library? Do you still have it? Can we borrow it while we're in the hospital?

Glad you had a great time!

bermudaonion said...

What a great way to get you in the mood for the National Book Festival. I've never read Lois Lowry, but my son loved her work.

Britt said...

I loved this book!

Surprised you'd never read any Lowry! I love her stuff!