Review: When Mischief Came to Town

Posted on December 8, 2015

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Mischief coverWhen Mischief Came to Town
By Katrina Nannestad
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young People
January 2016
192 pages

Forget the comparisons to Pippi Longstocking or Anne of Green Gables, 10-year old Inge Maria Jensen is very much her own person. It’s 1911 when Inge arrives in a fishing boat on the island of Bornholm, where everyone is grumpy including her grandmother. Grandmother is especially cross when she discovers that a goat has eaten half the hair on Inge’s head during the long voyage from Copenhagen. But Inge doesn’t care. She has much bigger problems. Her mother has died and she was forced to leave her beautiful home in Copenhagen to live with her gruff, old grandmother on this stuffy, cold island. Though much to Inge’s joy and surprise, Grandmother’s cottage is cute and cozy and the farmyard is teeming with life in the form of two cows, a donkey, one overbearing turkey, a pig and eight piglets, and a bunch of chickens. To Inge’s delight, the animals accept her for who she is. Yet life outside the farm is exceedingly boring. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, Inge uses her imagination to act out her grief and boredom through impulsive antics, like singing out loud in church and dancing in school. Except for one unfortunate incident where she clobbers Henry the turkey with a bucket, Inge’s mischief is harmless, albeit hilarious. She steals the hearts of everyone she meets but it is Grandmother’s love and approval she is determined to win. When Mischief Came to Town is the story of a spunky little girl who turns her grief upside down and reinvents her life.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Peggy Tibbetts

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