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The Unadoptables Reader Reviews

The Unadoptables

Hermione Chaytors

A five star book of adventure and working together as a family unit.

The Unadoptables is such an amazing read with five children who you want to be friends with as soon as you meet them!

With five unique and individual orphans growing up in the Little Tulip Orphanage, neither one of them has ever caught the eye of potential adopters for 12 years. So, they’re all desperate for their real parents to come back and reclaim them, especially Milou.

I loved how this book can be a little sad and frightening in parts, especially with the way the children are treated and how they can never fully escape their past. But, they work as a family and stay together, which more than makes up for the horrible things they have to experience.

I loved everything about The Unadoptables. The characters are all so likeable, especially Egg and Lotta, and I could imagine meeting them all as they tried to live their lives away from the evil Matron Gassbeek.

I especially loved how it had a more realistic ending, as this was just as fun to finish the story on as a happy ever after. Best of all, this book is about family - even if that isn’t who you are related to, and the lengths you’ll go to ensure your family remains together.

Emily Welbourn

An exciting book which is dark, adventurous, great fun and full of fantastic illustrations. I definitely recommend this brilliant book!

From the start to the end, The Unadoptables is a great book. When I first saw it, I liked the look of the cover but I wasn't sure if it was really "me", as it didn't look like the sort of book that I usually read... However, within a few pages, I realised that I was wrong! This book is adventurous, dark and very good, just like me actually! I thought the most exciting bit was where two of the orphans nearly drowned, and I just could not put it down. I loved the characters and the intriguing storyline. This book takes you to another world. I thought it was one of a kind and I would say to anyone who has not yet read this book, I definitely recommend it. I loved it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Fern Tolley

Holy Gouda! This spectacular story of friendship, belonging and daring adventure had me hooked from start to finish!

Holy Gouda, what a spectacular story! From the very first page of this delicious debut I was immediately mesmerised by this tale of friendship, belonging and daring adventure.

Set amongst the icy canals and sleek velvet thread of 19th Century Amsterdam, in the utterly dreadful Little Tulip Orphanage, reside five curiously unique 'unadoptables’, who long for a home and freedom away from the cruel clutches of their child-hating matron, Elinora Gassbeek. But when a sinister sea captain threatens to tear the gang apart, a daring moonlit escape across the countryside is their only hopes of staying together. But dastardly villains, curious clock makers, and lifelike puppets lurk in the shadows of their new-found safe haven, testing the gang’s unbreakable bond to the very limits.

Hana Tooke’s storytelling skills are royally breathtaking and she has absolutely mastered an open-ended narrative of mystery and suspense! From the whimsical Dutch setting to the hair-raising mysteries, to the thrilling gothic intrigue and the courageous acts of love, Tooke has spun a shimmering web of warmth, wit and wonder. I'm already desperate to escape back into this dazzling world and the exciting epilogue hints that this might already be in the cards!

Perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, The Unadoptables is a magical book to absolutely fall in love with. 5 glorious stars from me!

Aidan Jones

This is brilliant! You should read it!

Wow, this book took a while to read but it was really worth it. There are five children in an orphanage and no one wants them because they are all a bit unusual. So they go on an adventure to find their own family. There are bad guys trying to get them, other mean children, and some people who might be sneaky or might be nice. They have amazing mysterious adventures and I just couldn't stop reading. There's no magic in it but it's sort of magical. I think there will be a sequel because more adventures could happen. I think everyone will read it. My mother read some too and she said it was good too!


A great story of friendship and belonging. I really enjoyed reading the Unadoptables.

The Unadoptables was a fantastic book. The characters Lotta, Egbert, Fenna, Sem and Milo were all great. Left at the orphanage they want nothing else but a home and their families. They all have something to give them a clue where they come from and wait and wait but no one comes until one day a man comes to collect them all. They know its too good to be true and when they catch him up to no good and realise they are in danger the go on the run to find their real home.
This is a great story of friendship and belonging.

Rebecca Mullins

A fast-paced book filled with hope, friendship and a sense of belonging.

'The Unadoptables' is packed full of adventure and hope.
Right from the beginning, Hana Tooke introduces us to five characters who drive the story and are desperate to escape the matron, their evil carer. What I particularly liked about the book was the focus on character and Hana Tooke does a brilliant job of portraying characters through her description. As a reader, you so wish for 'the unadoptables' to succeed in their journey. The book has a fast pace and follows the adventure of these fascinating orphans with lots of suspense and emotion! 'The Unadoptables' is a combination of a sense of belonging, hope and friendship.
I would definitely recommend this book if you were a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events.


Logan Taylor

10/10! Amazingly brilliant cliff-hanger of a book.

This book is about five children who run away from an orphanage. Their adventure takes them across Amsterdam in winter. I found this book really exhilarating and fast paced, there was lots of unexpected plot twists. This is my first ever favourite book, I will be reading it again and again and again!

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241417461
Publication date: 23rd July 2020
Author: Hana Tooke
Publisher: Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 400 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Crime / Mystery, General Fiction, Personal Social Health Economic
Other Categories: Books of the Month, Debuts of the Month, Julia Eccleshare's Picks, Reviewed by Children