Book Reviews, Middle Grade Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  21 July 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 372

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia




In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1886, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances: one in a tin toolbox, one in a coal bucket, one in a picnic hamper, one in a wheat sack, and finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.

Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem and Milou; who were swiftly and firmly deemed ‘the unadoptables’. Twelve years on the children still have each other – until the fateful night a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains – and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them to their mysterious new home . . .




Thank you so much to Penguin Books Australia for sending me a copy of The Unadoptables, in exchange for an honest review!


Milou has been at the orphanage since she was a baby.  She’s always known her parents would come back for her though.  She’s compiled a list of clues and possible scenarios for why they left her all those years ago, and she’s confident it’s only a matter of time before they return.  When the horrible matron tells Milou and the friends she’s made at the orphanage – the ‘unadaptable’ ones, that they’re on their last chance to be adopted before they’re tossed out, the group find themselves unexpectedly on their own, and on the run.  Milou is still determined to find her parents, but will her few clues lead her where she needs to go?

I don’t often rate middle grade books five stars, but this was just wonderful.  I absolutely loved it.  It was both sweet and exciting with brilliant writing.  These unadoptable kids, with their quirks and special personalities captured my heart from the very beginning.  The classical villain type characters, and the unusual children, gave it a real Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children or Lemony Snicket feel that I really enjoyed.

Set in the Netherlands, the story is full of hope and found families, with plenty of humour and twists along the way.  For lovers of adventure and mysteries, the Unadoptables will be enjoyed just as much by adults and teens as the middle grade audience it was written for.  Its not a short book, but I had to read it all in one day, simply because I was so enchanted by the story!




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