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Joan Aiken: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Chronicles

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       Hungry for magic and adventure, I went back to this series after reading the Harry Potter books, and found them even better than I ahd remembered them. If you give them to children, please be sure to tell them that the "history" in the books is imaginary, and the behavior of the wolves is not at all true to life! Each book stands alone and, indeed, if you try to make sense of the overall story in sequence, you will find discrepancies. Never mind; it's fantasy. Nevertheless, I recommend reading them in order if you can, so as to enjoy the development of Dido's character in particular. She is sadly missing from the first book, but you've got to read that one in order to understand Simon's background. A couple of shady characters from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase reappear unexpectedly in Nightbirds on Nantucket.
       The whole series is back in print, although the books are not always easy to find. Here they are listed in order.
 
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase; Joan Aiken
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback       Amazon.com

 
Black Hearts at Battersea; Joan Aiken
Recommended for ages 8 (mature) to ancient.
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback       Amazon.com

 
Nightbirds on Nantucket; Joan Aiken
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback       Amazon.com

 
The Stolen Lake; Joan Aiken
Dido Twite meets King Arthur in South America. Really!
       Amazon.com
       Amazon.com

 
The Cuckoo Tree; Joan Aiken
       Amazon.com
       Amazon.com

 
Dido and Pa; Joan Aiken
       Dido Twite returns from her adventures in the Atlantic to reunite with Simon (now a Duke) in London, where she finds that once again her nefarious musician father is up to his eyebrows in 'Hanoverian' plots against the Stuart throne. This book introduces Is, the heroine of the next two novels.
Paperback       Amazon.uk.co        Amazon.com

 
Is Underground; Joan Aiken   Paperback
       Dark social commentary makes this one of Aiken's best, but not for younger children.
       Amazon.com

 
Cold Shoulder Road; Joan Aiken. 1996
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback       Amazon.com

 
Dangerous Games; Joan Aiken
From the Publisher:
       Joan Aiken [is] the critically acclaimed author of Cold Shoulder Road and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. In Dangerous Games, Dido Twite... returns for another rollicking adventure, this time to the island of Aratu. [She] has set sail again, in search of Lord Herodsfoot, a nobleman that scours the earth for new and interesting games. It is hoped that Lord Herodsfoot will have discovered a cure for the ailing King James of England, who seems to have a mysterious disease that no one can cure. Dido and her crew land on the island of Aratu, a place that very few people have visited, perhaps because of the deadly pearl snakes and sting monkeys that inhabit the island. But getting to Aratu is just the beginning of Dido's adventures. Danger seems to be lurking everywhere: mysterious men are watching her and women are not welcome anywhere ~ unless their faces are veiled or wrapped in leaves. As she investigates, Dido learns of a plot to overthrow the island's king. Will she and her friends reach the king in time to save him? And will they be able to help King James before it is too late? Readers will be on the edge of their seats as they join Dido for her latest spirited ride.
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback       Amazon.com
 
Midwinter Nightingale; Joan Aiken
Hardcover       Amazon.com
Paperback      Amazon.com

 
The Witch of Clatteringshaws; Joan Aiken
Hardcover       Amazon.com

 
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