The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

The Wonderling

Written by Mira Bartok

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In a Nutshell: Half-human, half-fox foundling seeks true destiny

Sparkling with the wit and wonder of a children’s classic, this exuberant quest-driven debut is a treat for readers of ten and over.

Wonderling Arthur is a quiet kind of soul, but desperate to find his place in the world, which isn’t easy when you live in Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. The part-human, part-animal ‘groundlings’ in her charge are denied the usual joys of childhood, and must toil, toil, toil. But when Arthur befriends bird groundling, Trinket, the new companions find a way to escape, though Arthur must summon all his courage to do so. The language dances and sings as Arthur and Trinket set off on their adventure beyond the cruel confines of the Home. Their story is a chorus of charm and wonderment, of friendship and hope, and comes highly recommended as a tale to share aloud as autumn draws in.

Special mention must be made of the book’s physical gloriousness. It’s a satisfyingly weighty tome, with evocatively intricate illustrations by the author. This is truly a book to treasure, and will be adored by readers who love the middle grade magic of the likes of Cornelia Funke and Michael Ende. ~ Joanne Owen


The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

In this extraordinary debut novel, Mira Bartok tells the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like groundling who sets out on a quest to find his destiny. Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young groundlings exist only to serve and suffer. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, fox-like eleven-year-old known only as number 13, it is the only home he has ever known. But when unexpected courage leads him to rescue a young bird groundling named Trinket, the Wonderling is given two incredible gifts: a real name - Arthur, like the good king in the old stories - and a best friend. Using Trinket's ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and down the path of Arthur's true destiny.


a richly imaging fantasy adventure. The Bookseller

The Dickensian atmosphere of the orphanage he eventually escapes from is cut with the magical whimsy of Bartok's strange universe: its fantastic creatures, secret hideaways and the characters extraordinary gifts. Bartok relishes in descriptive minutiae, which she complements with delightful pencil sketches that give a tantalising glimpse of what the inevitable film adaptation will look like. The Irish Times

There's a steampunk style to this quirky and remarkable novel [...] Bartok's world has the feel of Dickens, with added fur and feathers, but also wonderful and whimsical illustrations to bring it alive. The Herald

Momentum builds toward a thrilling crescendo and, rarest of all, a wholly satisfying ending that still whets the appetite for a sequel. * NY Times

About the Author

Mira Bartok is a writer and artist whose New York Times best-selling memoir, The Memory Palace: A Memoir, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. The Wonderling is her first novel for young readers. She lives in Western Massachusetts.

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Book Info


464 pages


Mira Bartok
More books by Mira Bartok


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd May 2018




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