Wednesday, August 6, 2014
How to Catch a Bogle Review
Book talk: Bogles are good at hiding. You might never see one. The only hint of where one is might be that children keep disappearing. There are those as don't believe in bogles, but Birdie knows better. She's been a bogler's apprentice for quite some time and she's helped her master to catch many monsters. But how could a young girl help a man catch a bogle? Well, bogles love children, so they make excellent bait. All Birdie has to do is stand in a circle of salt and sing. What could be simpler than that? It's a lot better than many of the other jobs orphans take. Except of course that a moment's hesitation or a stumble could very easily mean that her apprenticeship will be terminated in the jaws of bogle.
Rocks my socks: How could I resist a story about a Victorian orphan girl fighting monsters? Birdie is wonderfully strong-willed and independent as she fights to be recognized for the hero she is despite people constantly underestimating her. The other characters are fun to read about as well from the artful dodger-like Ned to the indomitable Miss Eames. The bogle-catching interludes provide plenty of suspense while the overarching story provides a mystery to be solved. The gruesome ballads that Birdie sings to attract the bogles are deliciously macabre and Jinks, as usual, finds ways to slip humor in throughout the story.
Rocks in my socks: I enjoyed the story and all the period details immensely, but the characters didn't come alive for me on a visceral level. They felt more like archetypes than fully fleshed out humans.
Every book its reader: I'd give this to fans of supernatural stories and historical fiction set in Victorian London. For a story about child-eating monsters it isn't particularly gory and there's little romance. I'd say it's fine for fourth graders and up looking for a scary story.
Catherine Jinks has a website with more information about herself and her books: http://catherinejinks.com/
The publisher has a book for the series complete with lyrics to one of Birdie's bogle-catching songs: http://hmhbooks.com/boglebooks/index.html
I love the trailer for this book:
Source: school library
How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks: buy it or check it out today!