October 9, 2012
The Strictest School in the World: Being the Tale of a Clever Girl, a Rubber Boy and a Collection of Flying Machines, Mostly Broken
by Howard Whitehouse
Emmaline Cayley was an aspiring aviator. She wanted to invent a flying machine. She just had one problem: Emmaline was afraid of flying. She needed a pilot, and found one in Robert (Rab) Burns, a boy who doesn't get bruised, scuffed, scragged or bent. But since this was 1894, Emmaline's parents thought her dream was entirely improper. So she was shipped off to St. Grimelda's School for Young Ladies, run by the horrifying Mrs. Wackett. St. Grimelda's was like a prison, with cold baths, beastly bullies, and brutal ball games. Fortunately for Emmaline, her Aunt Lucy senses things are amiss and plans a daring rescue, with the help of Rab, a butler, and a mad scientist professor.
With its cast of eccentric characters (including a hilarious, bloodthirsty princess), flying monsters, dangerous contraptions, and a complete disregard for the laws of physics, The Strictest School in the World is a terrifically wacky, laugh-out-loud escape tale that will delight readers young and old.
For those who want to know the fate of violent Princess Purnah, read the madcap sequel The Faceless Fiend: Being the Tale of a Criminal Mastermind, His Masked Minions and a Princess with a Butter Knife, Involving Explosives and a Certain Amount of Pushing and Shoving.