Birdie, a ten year old orphan girl with a beautiful voice, was apprenticed by a man named Alfred when she was very young. His occupation is the fast-paced, treacherous action of bogling, which is catching huge children-eating monsters in the streets of Victorian London. Birdie loves being an apprentice to Alfred–she’s fast enough to escape, her fantastic singing lures the bogle well, and she simply finds it adventurous and heroic. In Birdie’s mind, her job will never end. Her thoughts about that may be altered, though, when children all over London begin to disappear. With her mentor Alfred, Birdie is determined to make sure that no more people are harmed.
I loved the book! It was the type of story that it near impossible to put down. Even the simplest situations were made remarkable by the writing style of Catherine Jinks. The characters were described in such a way that I felt as if I knew them. Birdie’s surroundings were written about in such detail that it was almost like I was there. The author also used phrases and slang from Victorian London, and although it could be annoying to keep turning from the glossary to the page that I was on, it definitely helped to create imagery within the book.
One memorable thing about the book was Birdie’s exciting and interesting perspective of her role when trapping and killing a bogle.
Review by Kitty, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library