The Wonderling (Hardcover)
Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward & Misbegotten Creatures is a horrible orphanage where we meet our main character. He is a creature who does not know his real name and is called Number 13 by the nasty Miss Carbunkle and her nearly as nasty right-hand Mr. Sneezeweed. Number 13 is renamed Arthur by his new and trusted friend Trinket. Arthur is a fox-like groundling who stands upright, has no tail, and is missing an ear. This book is filled with many adventures as Arthur and Trinket escape from the orphanage and come across good and evil creatures. Arthur’s goodness persists and along with a string of friends, they are triumphant in the end. Mira Bartok has written a brilliant debut with her lovely artwork throughout. I can’t wait for my granddaughters to read this splendidly imagined story.— From Joan's Picks
In this extraordinary debut novel with its deft nod to Dickensian heroes and rogues, Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny. Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not We have just the solution for you Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name -- a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck -- it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name -- Arthur, like the good king in the old stories -- and a best friend. Using Trinket's ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur's true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartok and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.
About the Author
Mira Bartok is a writer and artist whose New York Times best-selling memoir, The Memory Palace A Memoir, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. The Wonderling is her first novel for young readers. She lives in Western Massachusetts.