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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone: The Entomological Tales of Augustus T. Percival » User review

Strange, Cute, and Wonderful!

  • Jul 11, 2009
This has got to be one of the strangest, cutest, most wonderful starts to a series I've ever read and I think I'm in love with it. The language, the characters, their behaviors to me everything was spot on.

Right off the bat we are introduced to Victorian manners and ways of doing things and then all of a sudden we find Uncle Augustus T. Percival having a bite to eat, a bite to eat of BUGS! His compulsion is just so hilarious, the way the author writes it, seeing him hopping around in the background grabbing bugs out of the air and such, it just never got old! That was probably my favorite part of the book.

Next we have this wonderful mystery of two very important people vanishing from Petronella's party and she and her friends and relatives take it upon themselves to help out the police to find them. Oh and did I mention that Petronella's Aunt and son and Great Aunt and two daughters show up to try and help sort out this mess but are basically in the way the whole time. They make for some great comedy.

And most surprisingly and most welcome too is a bit of romance in the story. Petronella's best friend happens to have an adorably handsome brother who Petronella swoons for, if only he would notice her as anything other than a sister. Let's just say I can't wait to see where the story picks up in the next installment of this series!

I would highly recommend this book for something a bit out of the ordinary. I was highly impressed.

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Grade 7–9—Petronella Arbuthnot's coming-out birthday party in Edwardian London goes awry when her guardian, Uncle Augustus, accidentally swallows a beetle and two important guests are kidnapped. Teaming up with her friend Jane; Jane's brother, Lord James Sinclair; and Uncle Augustus, who is now obsessed with eating bugs of all kinds, the 16-year-old sets out to discover what happened to Dame Carruthers, an actress favored by the king, and Generalissimo Reyes-Cardoza, a Panamanian revolutionary. What follows is part farce, part mystery, part political thriller, all told in Petronella's upper-crust voice, laced with sly humor, many bodice-ripping observations of James's virile charms, and a painless dose of history. Archetypical characters are skillfully drawn, time and place are clearly evoked, and excitement and intrigue abound amid the hilarity. It all wraps up nicely—well, almost—with a suggestion of more to come. Fans of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart, Lloyd Alexander's Vesper Holly, and Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes will welcome this delicious heroine, who will likely lure new readers to the genre.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYEND
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ISBN-10: 0547152507
ISBN-13: 978-0547152509
Author: Dene Low
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

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