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A wonderfully entertaining adventure and captivating mystery
July 2020 Debut of the Month
Warm-hearted and mysterious The Unadoptables is a wonderfully entertaining adventure with a cast of fascinating characters set in a brilliantly evoked old-world Amsterdam and the surrounding countryside. Following the clues from the only possessions she was left with when she was abandoned as a baby and guided by her ‘Book of Theories’, the imaginative Milou leads her four friends – the least adoptable children in the very horrible Little Tulip Orphanage – to her family home where she is sure she will find her parents. Travelling through a freezing night the children arrive at their destination. But there is not the welcome they had expected. Where are Milou’s parents? And what is the mystery they need to solve? The creative ways in which the five children manage first to escape from the evil clutches of their matron and her evil accomplice Rotman and then to make a new life for themselves bamboozling neighbours and unravelling the mystery is vivid and captivating.
Five amazing children . . . one most un-ordinary adventure.
In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the very strict Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1886, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances: One in a tin toolbox. One in a coal bucket. One in a picnic hamper. One in a wheat sack. And finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.
Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem and Milou. And although Gassbeek might think they're 'unadoptable', they know their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together. Then a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart.
The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains - and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them. But is their real home - and their real family - already closer than they realise?
In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
An exciting book which is dark, adventurous, great fun and full of fantastic illustrations. I definitely recommend this brilliant book! Full review
Holy Gouda! This spectacular story of friendship, belonging and daring adventure had me hooked from start to finish! Full review
A compelling, gorgeously-written story about the power of friendship and the true meaning of family . . . perfection! Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike
A high-speed, witty, absurd and joyful adventure. Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppers and The Good Thieves
Unfolding with the clarity of a fairy tale, this sure-footed debut casts a delightfully spooky spell. (Fantasy. 8-12) - Kirkus
With a little bit of spookiness and a whole lot of quirkiness, this book will capture your heart! - Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company
This book has everything you need: villians, action, comedy and adventure all rolled into one. - Robyn Broderick, The Reading Bug
Perfect for reading out loud, and just the right amount of scary, this has the feel of a classic in the making. - Bethany Strout, Tattered Cover Bookstore
The Unadoptables will make you wish your own parents had loved you enough to leave you at a Dutch orphanage in the 19th century to join in their adventures. Great for readers of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Serafina series. - Nathan Halter, Lahaska Bookshop
Unfolding with the clarity of a fairy tale, this sure-footed debut casts a delightfully spooky spell - Kirkus
Effortlessly merging the gothic and ghastly with the eccentric and absurd - Waterstones Blog, 'Best Books to Look Out For in 2020'
This delicious debut had me reading late into the night... Beautiful but accessible writing, thrilling action, a hint of magic and unforgettable characters are delivered with wit, wisdom and heart in an enviably distinct voice. - The Bookseller, Children's Book of the Month
...spectacular wit, dazzling theatrical wonder and huge amount of hope, courage and everlasting friendship. A book to absolutely fall in love with. - Cerrie Burnell, author of The Girl With the Shark's Teeth
A corker of a story. - Emma Carroll, author of Letters to the Lighthouse
|Publication date:||23rd July 2020|
|Illustrator:||Ayesha L. Rubio|
|Publisher:||Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 2|
|Topics:||Adventure Stories, Crime / Mystery, Divorce, General Fiction|
Half Dutch, half English, Hana Tooke grew up near Amsterdam and moved to the south of England at the age of twelve. After completing a degree in music, and then a PGCE, Hana was a primary school teacher for several years. Hana also completed the Bath Spa University Writing for Young People MA, and The Unadoptables was shortlisted for The Bath Children's Novel Award 2018. She lives in Bath with two humans and a cat.More About Hana Tooke