Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Willoughbys

     Lois Lowry is a gifted writer because everything she writes is so unique and different.  You never feel like you are reading the same book repeatedly.  The Willoughbys is no exception.  Unlike her Dystopian novel The Giver or historical fiction Number the Stars or her realistic novel Gossamer, The Willoughbys is a parody of old fashioned stories like Mary Poppins and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
     Like all good old fashioned stories, a baby arrives in a basket with a note asking the Willoughbys to take good care of her.  The Willoughby parents can't stand the children they have, so are more than happy to have the children dump the baby on a rich, reclusive neighbor who is living in despair.
     In the meantime, back at the Willoughbys' home, the neglected children have hatched a plan to become orphans at the same time their devious parents have decided to find a legal way to rid themselves of their children.  The nanny arrives, and in true Mary Poppins' style, saves the day.
      This is a quick read.  I read it in one sitting, although kids may take a bit more time.  It is laugh out loud funny but much of the humor comes from understanding the stories being parodied.  With that and the difficult vocabulary, it is a good book for kids who love to read or adults who want to enjoy the twisted version of their favorite books they read as children.


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