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How to Catch a Bogle / by Catherine Jinks

How to Catch a Bogle (Bogle #1) - Catherine Jinks, Sarah Watts

This book was recommended to me by my friend Kaethe, and let me just say, she suggests some excellent books!


How to Catch a Bogle was kinda sorta Harry Potter meets Charles Dickens, but more emphasis on Dickens than Potter.  The story was engaging from page one, and I tore through this thing!  Yes, the book is a young adult book, but it's a mature book.  It doesn't shy away from the plight of poor people, children in particular, in Victorian England, and it paints a bleak picture of survival for those kids.  Very few paths are open to them, and most end up thieving, locked up, or dead.  Some of the dead ones wind up that way due to nasty, hungry bogles with a taste for kids.  That's where Birdie comes in.


Birdie is a young heroine, but despite her small size she is plucky, strong, brave, and compassionate.  She is a beautifully drawn character, and the reader would happily follow her anywhere as she practices her trade as a "'prentice" to a bogler (i.e., someone who dispatches the nasty buggers to the bogle afterlife).  


The book is fast paced, and would appeal immensely to those kids out there who tend to like darker stories.  I'm not sure what age range this would best suit.  My niece is ten, and while I think she'd like the story, I don't think she'd quite understand all of the words, particularly the street slang that Birdie and her peers use.  There is a glossary at the end of the book, so that would help, I'm just not quite sure how much.  I guess the only way to know for sure is to hand her the book.  Which I may just do tonight.