Five amazing children . . . one most un-ordinary adventure.
"A compelling, gorgeously-written story about the power of friendship and the true meaning of family . . . perfection!" Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike
"A high-speed, witty, absurd and joyful adventure." Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppersand The Good Thieves
In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the very strict Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1886, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances:
One in a tin toolbox.
One in a coal bucket.
One in a picnic hamper.
One in a wheat sack.
And finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.
Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem and Milou.
And although Gassbeek might think they're 'unadoptable', they know their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together.
Then a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains - and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them.
But is their real home - and their real family - already closer than they realise?
"A corker of a story." Emma Carroll, author of Letters to the Lighthouse
"A book to absolutely fall in love with." Cerrie Burnell, author of The Girl with the Shark's Teeth
A high-speed, witty, absurd and joyful adventure
A corker of a story.
A book to absolutely fall in love with
A compelling, gorgeously-written story about the power of friendship and the true meaning of family. It's a mystery with a hint of magic, featuring characters who feel entirely real ... perfection!
I adored this story from the very first page. Sleek as Amsterdam velvet and full of heart-clutching mysteries, moonlit escapes on frozen canals, puppets with heartbeats and secret messages engraved upon pocket watches. Follow Milou and her adopted family on a glorious adventure as they race through the streets of Amsterdam, determined to fight for their freedom with spectacular wit, dazzling theatrical wonder and huge amount of hope, courage and everlasting friendship. A book to absolutely fall in love with.
A corker of a story. I loved the writing, the setting, the STUPENDOUS action scenes, how well-paced it was, with such drama, revelations, plot twists and the loveliest of final lines... and one of the most satisfying endings I've read in a long while, with the promise of more in the epilogue. Bravo, Hana - what a book!
This delicious debut had me reading late into the night... Beautiful but accessible writing, thrilling action, a hint of magic and unforgettable characters are delivered with wit, wisdom and heart in an enviably distinct voice. It's a story of unforgettable friendship and what it really means to be a family... I can't wait to see what Tooke does next.
Effortlessly merging the gothic and ghastly with the eccentric and absurd, Hana Tooke's mesmerising debut sends a quintet of abandoned orphans off on a caper across nineteenth-century Amsterdam, complete with sinister supervillains, heart-in-mouth cliff-hangers and lashings of evocative period flavour.
While the vivid, Dickensian setting - grim orphanage, icy mists, and shadowy dockyards - and quaint clockwork creations and life-size puppets spin a web of Gothic creepiness, the bonds among this found family of lively orphans add plenty of warmth and light. Unfolding with the clarity of a fairy tale, this sure-footed debut casts a delightfully spooky spell