"Wanted Immediately: energetic governess for three lively children."
The adventures of Penelope Lumley, an orphan seeking employment, begin with this simple ad. Penelope is a recent graduate of Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. She's smart, resourceful, and ready for anything. Or so she thinks.
Penelope follows a strange howling noise to the barn, intent on helping the injured animals she expects to find. Instead, she meets her new young charges, huddled together and yipping at one another. Having been raised in the wild, she needs to teach them all the things they need to know to be "civilized". This includes learning how to put on trousers, not chase squirrels up a tree, read Latin, and dance the schottische.
Mystery surrounds the children, and her new home, as she tries to uncover their origin. Why did her employer adopt the children, and why did he invite his hunting buddies to a Christmas gala event to meet them? Join Penelope in her adventures!
Literary references and a wry sense of humor made this book an enjoyable read for me and my students.