STARRED REVIEW
January 2016

Free to be silly

By Katrina Nannestad
Review by
Refreshingly old-fashioned: There’s no better way to describe When Mischief Came to Town. Standing in contrast to the futuristic sagas and sci-fi series that abound nowadays, Katrina Nannestad’s richly detailed story of an orphan named Inge, set in 1911 in Denmark, has an antique air that’s irresistible.
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BookPage Children's Top Pick, January 2016

Refreshingly old-fashioned: There’s no better way to describe When Mischief Came to Town. Standing in contrast to the futuristic sagas and sci-fi series that abound nowadays, Katrina Nannestad’s richly detailed story of an orphan named Inge, set in 1911 in Denmark, has an antique air that’s irresistible. 

After her mother dies, 10-year-old Inge goes to live with Grandmother on her farm on the Danish island of Bornholm. Her new life is nothing like the one she led with her mother in Copenhagen, where they had an apartment and servants. Grandmother, a prickly, inaccessible sort with dark eyes “pressed like raisins into her wrinkled face,” soon has Inge working in the stables and cleaning the kitchen—tasks that she tackles good naturedly. But her playful, spontaneous spirit seems to attract trouble. Inge sings the wrong songs in church, talks to the jam spoon and sometimes makes a mess of her chores. The starchy adults on the island—including elderly twins Olga and Tina Pedersen—don’t know what to make of her lively ways.

Will the farm ever feel like home to Inge? Although her mischievousness makes Grandmother “grumble like an ogre,” the answer is yes. Filled with moments of high humor, this delightful tale introduces a heroine readers are sure to love. Nannestad’s book has all the makings of a classic.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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When Mischief Came to Town

When Mischief Came to Town

By Katrina Nannestad
HMH
ISBN 9780544534322

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