Grant, Holly The League of Beastly Dreadfuls, 294 pgs. Random House Children’s Books, 2015, $16.99. Language G; Mature Content G; Violence G.
This book is all about dreadful things. Anastasia, an almost eleven year old, is taken under the wings of two dreadful aunts when her parents die in a tragic vacuum cleaner accident. The dreadful home of the aunts happens to be the repurposed St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane. In her new home, Anastasia can’t help but notice that there are many strange goings on and dreadful things like having to use a chamber pot and attack poodles with metal teeth. The aunties may not be all that they seem, and Anastasia has to figure out what to do before it is dreadfully too late.
The book has some nice illustrations that add to the story. Unfortunately, for me, the many references to flatulence and poo detracted rather than added to the story. Also, Anastasia grieved just as much from being parted from her guinea pig than from being told her parents were dead. The characters seem flat. Because the protagonist is almost eleven, the book would be suited for an elementary audience, but at almost 300 pages, it seems long, especially when the ending doesn’t wrap up the story, but leaves it hanging for book two.
EL/MS: OPTIONAL. Michelle in the Middle