Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Millhouse by Natale Ghent

Millhouse by Natale GhentI'm really torn with this one.

First, what I liked:

I grew up reading Thornton W. Burgess books; you know,The Adventures of Peter Cottontail, The Adventures of Reddy Fox,The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk,The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver etc and absolutely LOVED them. And when I first picked up "Millhouse" it reminded me of a cross between Burgess' books and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. There's a character list, it takes place in a pet shop and each animal plays a part in the story. Milly is a reader, a performer, Shakespearian genius. And bald.

The illustrations are pencil sketches and too cute for words. I loved them! So far so good!

What I didn't like:

The book is dark. Very dark. Milly is pretty much on her own. No one likes her, worse, she is bullied at every turn. The reader feels bad for her and it goes on and on and on. As a child I would have been in tears for much of the book and it's about 10-12 chapters long. Things do turn around for Milly at the end but I know for a fact I wouldn't have lasted that long.

So my question is, did it have to be quite so dark? Did the characters have to be quite so mean and quite so frightening? Maybe. But it was too intense for my liking. I would be cautious who I bought it for. Sensitive kids won't like this at all. (But I am known to have cried reading Puff, the Magic Dragon so ....use your own judgement).


*I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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