I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
My oldest daughter is eight years old, and her little sisters are six. They love reading books, and when I received the opportunity to read When Mischief Came to Town, I knew that they would like it as well. We read a chapter or two every night for a couple of weeks, and they were absolutely enthralled.
When Mischief Came to Town was written by Katrina Nannestad. This is the story of a little girl named Inge Maria, who leaves her life in Copenhagen behind to travel to the island of Bornholm to live with her grandmother following the death of her mother. Inge Maria is a spirited girl, who looks for whimsical moments in her everyday life. This is a stark contrast to the quiet and predictable routine that her grandmother is used to, and at first, it doesn’t seem like Inge and her grandmother are a good match for each other. But as Inge adjusts to life on Bornholm, her joie de vivre proves to be contagious and affects everyone she encounters.
My girls absolutely loved this book, and asked every night if we could read more of the Goat Girl story. My girls were captivated from the moment that Inge arrives on the island with one braid chewed off by a goat. They laughed at her antics, and sang along whenever Inge sang one of her “turkey songs”. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but I will say that a secondary plot helped them to see that things are not always black and white, and things are not always as they appear. This is certainly a valuable lesson in not passing judgment on a situation without having all of the facts.
I have read many children’s books in my lifetime, and I can confidently say that When Mischief Came to Town is one of the best children’s books I have ever read. The old fashioned European setting only adds to the charm of the story. Inge’s spirited ways extend behind the boundaries of the story and touched us as well. Her glee made us laugh, and her grief made us cry.
I would absolutely recommend When Mischief Came to Town. This middle grade reader is perfect for reading out loud to younger children or for older elementary schoolers to read independently. This is a very memorable story, and I am going to be thinking about Inge Maria, her grandmother, Henry the turkey, little Klaus, and the rest of the characters for quite a long time.