I met this book about one week ago due to a 200 RMB voucher for a bookstore in Tai Koo Hui.
Needless to say, as with most books, I fell in love with it.
A fox groundling (Groundlings are mixture of human and animal, and at the time at the very bottom of the social hierachy), known to most as Number 13, suffers with others of his kind in Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. The propietor of this orphanage, no other than Miss Carbunkle herself, forbids laughing and speaking of any kind, unless it is absolutely necessary. However, to commit the most devastating crime of all (At least to Miss Carbunkle) would be to make music.
One day, Number 13's new friend whom he stood up for, Trinket, tries to persuade him (Or Arthur, as Trinket calls him due to his bravery) to escape the abhorrent grounds of the Home, to no avail. Trinket tells him that she has heard him sing in his sleep every night. This makes him decide that he must escape with Trinket to the Outside.
The Outside is not as perfect as it seems, though. Arthur soon finds himself in all sorts of trouble: staying with a den of theives for a while, and the DOGC, formed by an elite group of High Hats (The men who are highest in society) to catch groundlings.
At this point, you may be thinking:
-Hey, isn't this the exact same as Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist"?
Well, the answer is no, as there are elements of the supernatural and other areas that you must go out and seek yourselves!
If I were to give this book a rating, it would be 9 out of 10, which is an extremely high score, because, as Nicole Xie said in her review, "10/10 is an immaculate piece of writing, almost extinct and devoid of existence." The reason it has scored so highly is not just because of its language, but also because of its message (Which you must also seek to boldly conquer!)
The illustrations are extremely striking and capture completely what is happening in the books, but don't worry if you think there aren't enough words: there are a whopping 56 chapters for you to read, and they are all fairly long.
The ATOS Level of this book is 5.6, and is sutiable for ages 11-14.
Finally, I hope each and every one of us find out what our purpose is in life.
~Alisha Lowe, 8C