Title: The Unadoptables
Written by: Hana Tooke
Illustrated by: Ayesha L. Rubio
Published by: Puffin
The opening chapters of The Unadoptables is written in the style of Lemony Snickets. It draws you into this unique story, which follows the orphans Milou, Sem, Lotta, Egg and Fenna who were all left at the Little Tulip Orphanage in strange and unusual ways.
Even though they have been described as ‘unadoptable’ the matron Miss Gassbeck because they do not look cute with freckles and pleasant features, each of the children have their own set of special skills that helps them on their adventures. Milou is an amazing story-teller, Sem is brilliant at sewing, Lotta has a fantastic grasp of science, Egg is an expert cartographer and Fenna has a lovely touching way with animals. Hana Tooke creates believable and realistic characters who pull on your heart-strings and carry you away on their epic journey.
Milou believes her parents will return to the orphanage to claim her. Milou finds a beautiful pocket watch hidden inside the cat puppet that was left on the orphanage roof with her. The watch contains coordinates so when they discover Miss Gassbeck, plans to sell all five ‘unadoptables’ to the disreputable Mr R they decide to run away from the orphanage and go to the mysterious coordinates in the hope it may lead them to the truth of who Milou’s parents are and why she was left on the roof of the orphange.
Set in and around Amsterdam during 1886, the five brave and determined children set off through 19th century Amsterdam on an adventure packed with puppets, clock-makers, cruel villains and pirate ships. On the way they discover what it means to have a real home with a real family. There are underlying themes of love, truth and identity.
This is the ideal book for a child to read alone or to listen to in the book corner at story time. The ideal book for any book corner.