The Orphans of St.Halibut’s by Sophie Wills and David Tazzyman

Dynamic Duo: Sophie Wills and David Tazzyman, Publishing in October 2020 by Macmillan

When I first heard about this book, it was described as Home Alone meets Annie, perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. How could I possibly resist? Sophie Wills and David Tazzyman have joined forces to become the new MG dynamic duo!

The resourcefulness of children, particularly orphans, is highlighted fantastically in this deliciously dark tale. What do orphans do when their matron dies in hilarious accidental circumstances? Well, they bury her nearly as deep as the schoolbooks! They stop bathing, learning and sleeping in their beds.

St. Halibut’s is an orphanage for Waifs and Strays and it sits high on a hill with a long steep climb to get to the door. Plenty of time for the children to see who is coming to see them. You see, ever since the matron died, they have been happily left alone and to their own devices. Mrs Happyday, luckily, left behind a hoard of cash so the three remaining orphans are not starving!

Tig, Stef and Herc are alone and happy for it, until a letter arrives informing them of the imminent arrival of DEATH (Department for Education, Assimilation, Training and Health). An inspector is being sent to check up on Matron and her orphans. They have 3 days to prepare!

The rest of the book follows the increasingly comedic and complex situations the orphans must face. Whimsical, dastardly and full of brilliant characters! From the foul tempered goat named Pamela, to the Mending factory and mistaken identities, there is plenty of delight and enthrall readers!

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