Synopses & Reviews
Young Henrietta is about to uncover a mystery she was never supposed to solve. In the new-age world she lives in, everything is ruled by computers, and every person's movements and actions are watched and analyzed. Henrietta feels suffocated by technology's rule and questions a world she's expected to blindly accept. She and her two newfound friends believe that there is more to life than what's expected of them--they just haven't found it yet.
That all changes when Henrietta finds a wounded Wild House Cat in the attic above her bedroom. This discovery sets off a chain of events that begin to poke holes in the secrets left behind by the well-hidden past. It also awakens a mysterious creature called The Wikkeling . . .
"Arntson makes his children's debut with this quirky, sometimes ambling adventure. Henrietta lives in a society so tightly controlled and regimented that parents can monitor their children every moment of the day, and teachers can judge a student's progress instantaneously. Relentlessly barraged by advertising, stifled by safety requirements, and suffocated by overzealous adults, Henrietta yearns for freedom. Her old house may be unfashionable by modern standards, but when Henrietta discovers its secret attic, it becomes a welcome haven. After she finds a near-mythical Wild House Cat and nurses it back to health, it gives her a purpose, as well as an opportunity to make friends with two like-minded schoolmates. Things get weird, however, when an ominous, enigmatic creature known as the Wikkeling starts stalking them. While striking, Terrazzini's illustrations (including entries from an ancient bestiary that Henrietta's step-grandfather gives her) can feel peripheral to the story, which rests uncertainly between a dystopian novel and a fantasy in the vein of the Spiderwick Chronicles; despite its many compelling elements, they fall short of forming a cohesive whole. Ages 8 12. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In the enormous city of the Addition, all children are SAFE, SECURE, and SUPERVISED, and are watched by cameras even while they sleep. Henrietta is unlikable at her competitive school until she meets Gary and Rose. They all share something in common: headaches with an unknown cause. Then, late one night, Henrietta makes a startling discovery when she finds a wounded cat in the attic above her bedroom. Soon after, a series of strange occurrences follow, including the appearance of a threatening creature with long, waxy fingers, who calls itself the Wikkeling. With the help of an ancient Bestiary, will Henrietta and her friends solve these mysteries before the Wikkeling finally catches them?
About the Author
Steven Arntson lives in Seattle. He earned an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently divides his time between writing stories, composing and performing music, and teaching music and writing to high school and college students. He lives with his wife in an attic apartment in an old house with three cats and many bicycles. This is his first book for children.