Okay, Lois Lowry, I think everyone who reads has heard of her. She has written more than 40 books for children and young adults, and The Willoughby’s Return falls right in the middle of that bracket. Come join me for this review won’t you?
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What I am Reviewing
Author Lois Lowry brings us a sequel to The Willoughby’s with this hilarious sequel, The Willoughby’s Return. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and running at 192 pages, this chapter book is geared for children 8-12 years old. I am reviewing this middle school read for Raincoast books.
From the cover:
Although they grew up as wretched orphans, the Willoughby siblings also became heirs to the the Melanoff candy company fortune. Everything has turned out just splendidly, except for one problem: Richie Willoughby, son of Timothy Willoughby, is an only child and is quite lonely.
Winifred and Winston Poore have long admired the toys of their neighbor Richie Willoughby and finally befriend the mysterious boy next door. But just as Richie finally begins to make friends, selling sweets is made illegal, and the family’s fortune is put in jeopardy. To make matters worse, Richie’s horrible Willoughby grandparents-frozen atop a Swiss mountain thirty years ago-have thawed, remain in perfect health, and are making their way home again.
The Details of The Willoughby’s Return
If the author could find a thing to poke at… she did! From poor people (the Poore’s) to a couple’s total bewilderment with google. You’ll find the encyclopedia salesman, the love of candy (tossed on it’s head) and a myriad of other items to have fun playing around with. Ms. Lowry plays.
As you’ll note, from the very first page, subtext appears. Some are funny like this one, others are very informative. Very easy to read. Nothing jumped out at me as overly difficult to read that didn’t have a footnote attached to it.
Most of the book was text, occasionally graphics were included.
Should you get The Willoughby’s Return?
It’s an odd book!
I don’t know how else to put it. The Willoughby’s Return is not really my style of reading at all. BUT I can totally see it appealing to a different audience. One that loves witty sarcasm and oddness in their reading.
There’s a true exaggeration in the characters, and you do see growth in most of the main characters. Each becoming something more than what they were at the beginning of the book. I love seeing positive change in people, and this particular part of The Willoughby’s Return I enjoyed.
Should you get it? I don’t know to be honest. Since it’s not my style to poke fun at things, and it wasn’t funny enough to make me laugh, I hesitate to do. On the flip side though, I could see my 15-year-old getting the humour and enjoying it.