cover image The Blood-And-Thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak

The Blood-And-Thunder Adventure on Hurricane Peak

Margaret Mahy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $13.95 (132pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50488-4

This marvelously funny novel brings together as zany a collection of characters as one could hope for: Heathcliff Warlock, a most unconventional deputy headmaster; Sir Quincey Judd-Sprockett, a nefarious and inept inventor; Belladonna Doppler, whom Sir Quincey has firmly in his sights; and assorted villains, cats and children. The setting is the Unexpected School, where anything might happen--and does. Mahy begins by placing in motion a number of seemingly unrelated subplots. By the end, they have been imaginatively and hilariously intertwined through the meeting, scheming and comic misunderstandings of all concerned. Smith's jaunty pen-and-ink spot drawings add visual verve to this manic mix. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)