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Very Unusual Pursuit: City Of Orphans (2013)

Very Unusual Pursuit: City of Orphans (2013)

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3.79 of 5 Votes: 3
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Allen & Unwin

About book Very Unusual Pursuit: City Of Orphans (2013)

While a bit of the climactic plot was a tad unbelievable *to me*, the rest of this book was awesome. I loved the historical fiction aspect of it, the authentic time period language used (with glossary in the back for reference) the nomenclature used for the different types of bogles (many of which I believe have truth in different cultures' folklore), and just the overall plot. The book ends on an especially high note for the protagonist, Birdie McAdams, as she is unapologetically herself, toeing the line between proper lady and well-to-do stage singer, and a bogler's girl on the side. I can't wait A Plague of Bogles! Unlike other orphans in the old London, Birdie considers herself very lucky. When orphans of her age are either recruited by the pickpocket gangs or workhouse, enduring beating, hunger/starvation and/or begging on the streets, she has a roof on her head, clothing, and even her very own bed. Most important of all, she has what she considered a very important and respectable job; she is Alfred Bunce the bogler's apprentice. When they go on a bogle hunt , Birdie works as the bait to lure the bogles -- child-eating monster-- into the salt-circle trap with her beautiful singing voice for Alfred to catch and slay. They met people from all walks of life through each job they accepted. Then they met Ms. Edith Eames, a folklorist who made extensive scientific study of English folklore, especially on "inhabitants of the spirit world that some called Elementals". Ms. Eames heard about one of Alfred's bogle hunt and became profoundly interested in the bogling business. She proposes to pay Alfred for her to tag along on their next bogle hunt. However, after witnessing the peril of Birdie as a bait to lure a bogle firsthand, Ms. Eames feels the urgency to get Birdie out of this dangerous life. She tries to convince Birdie that her job is perilous and not good for long term with all the right reasons. Ms. Eames even offers to provide Birdie a nice living, clothing, singing lessons, and makes her a singer on stage and pay Alfred to research for a more "scientific way" to lure, trap, and catch bogles. However, Birdie is not buying it; she feels Ms. Eames is trying to destroy her life. Meanwhile, children recruited by Sally Pickles, an infamous Matron who trains and runs her own gangs of pickpockets, are missing. When two of Sally's pickpockets sneaked into Dr. Morton's house to steal and never made it back, Sally believed there is a bogle in the house and requested Alfred to hunt the bogle down. Reluctantly, Alfred took the job with a request of Ms. Eames' assistance, for that he doesn't want to run the danger of getting caught by the police for breaking into Dr. Morton's house. This job nearly cost Birdie's life for that she was almost taken by the bogle, which led Alfred to seriously consider retiring into rat-catching business, a gravedigger named Simeon McGill comes knocking at Alfred's door and request for another bogle hunt in the cemetery. However, this last job turned out to be the most dangerous one they've ever encountered. It turns out to be a trap set up by Dr. Morton, who was upset about Alfred killing the demon he had summoned and captivated in his residence and now he wants Alfred to help him capture another evil spirit/monster by holding Birdie hostage. The storyline is well-paced. The author does a good job not only on giving vivid description of the bogles and hunting scenes, but also the busy, dirty and scummy street scenes and the life of the poor in old Victorian London. It's a book for 4th graders and up. There is also a page of glossary at the end of the book to explain some of the terms they used in the story. Although there are some scary/horror elements in the plot, it's really more of an adventure than scary book.

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Common sense media gives 5 stars for age 10 and up - historical fiction meets suspenseful fantasy.

Lots of fun, a little scary, great setting.

great book,very exiting!!!

Children Fiction JINKS


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