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by Sylvia Waugh

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Author: Sylvia Waugh
ISBN: 0785764011
Language: English
Category: Growing Up & Facts of Life
Publisher: Econo-Clad Books (May 1995)
Rating: 4.1
Formats: docx mobi rtf azw
FB2 size: 1999 kb | EPUB size: 1247 kb | DJVU size: 1442 kb
Sub: Kids

Also by Sylvia Waugh. Praise for the Mennyms Sequence.

Also by Sylvia Waugh. From the outside, 5 Brocklehurst Grove looks like an ordinary house – the windows are always clean, and the garden well tended. And from the inside, to hear voices of the inhabitants, the Mennym family, you would think they were a perfectly ordinary family, too. But you’d be wrong, for the Mennyms are far from ordinary. The Birth of the Mennyms.

Sylvia Waugh's "The Mennyms" is a fantasty-based novel following the lives of the Mennyms, a family of rag dolls that have come to life

Sylvia Waugh's "The Mennyms" is a fantasty-based novel following the lives of the Mennyms, a family of rag dolls that have come to life. After spending many years of self induced solitude after their creator died, they receive a letter from a mysterious man named Albert Pond, stating that their old land lord has died, and that he will be visiting them around Christmas. Will their secret leak out? Can the ignorant Albert Pond be persuaded into not coming? How will this Sylvia Waugh's "The Mennyms" is a fantasty-based novel following the lives of the Mennyms, a family of rag dolls that have come to life.

From the outside, 5 Brocklehurst Grove looks like an ordinary house - the windows are always clean, and the garden well tended. And from the inside, to hear the voices of the inhabitants, the Mennym family, you would think they were a perfectly ordinary family, too. But you'd be wrong, for the Mennyms are far.

Sylvia Waugh (born 1935) is a British writer of children's books. Sylvia Waugh was born in Gateshead, County Durham, Northern England and attended Gateshead Grammar School. Having worked full-time as a grammar teacher for seventeen years, Waugh began her writing career in her late fifties. Her first book, The Mennyms, was published by Julia McRae in 1993

From the outside, 5 Brocklehurst Grove looks like an ordinary house - the windows are always clean, and the garden well tended.

Cover About the Book. Sylvia Waugh lives in Gateshead. She taught English at a local school for many years but has now given up teaching to devote her time to writing

Cover About the Book. She taught English at a local school for many years but has now given up teaching to devote her time to writing. She has three grown up children and two grandsons.

Mennyms in the wilderness. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Delaware County District Library (Ohio). But you'd be wrong, for the Mennyms are far from ordinary.

Comments (7)
Dobpota
The beginning of this book is a little slow and I found it surprisingly difficult to read about a family of dolls. I am an grandmother and I read a lot of children's books but for some reason it took me a while to care about these, but I stuck with it and toward the middle of the book the plot takes a turn and from there on out I was hooked. The characters may be dolls but they have human personalities and behave in human ways. They also really care about each other and despite their sometimes pettiness, rise to the occasion when needs press. My favorite character was Soobie, the moody, blue doll who reads continuously and refuses to participate in the pretends the rest of the family need to be more like humans. In the end it is Soobie who saves the day.
Malann
Soobie, Miss Quigly, Appleby - oh Appleby, forever a petulant teen. The Mennym family will melt into your heart and soul, and never leave.
invasion
Just as it should be!
Uaha
Working at the library has shown me that adult readers are generally reluctant to move outside their preferred genre; mystery readers read only mysteries, romance readers read only romances, and so on. Sometimes they'll make an exception for a high-profile author like Stephen King or a notable bestseller like The Help, but generally most readers stay in their groove. The one genre they rarely make an exception for is kids' lit. Yes, a lot of adults read Harry Potter, but I think that's the exception that proves the rule. And that's a pity because some of the smartest, most imaginative writing can found in the kids section.

The Mennyms is a perfect example of first-rate writing that should be allowed a place at the grownup's table. I'll admit that the basic story idea of The Mennyms sounds painfully cute, whimsical and juvenile: the Mennyms are an extended family of life-size rag dolls who have, for some mysterious reason, come alive. Through a complicated, but believable, series of subterfuges and stratagems the Mennyms have managed to keep their peculiar existence a secret. They live in a house in a middle-class London suburb that was once owned by their deceased maker, and behind perpetually drawn curtains they try and live their lives as though they were fully human. The Mennyms are completely aware that they aren't human, but engage in meals and so on (what they call "pretends") that fill their day.

On one level the novel is about the Mennyms' attempts to live their lives without being discovered. On another level it's about what constitutes a family, and how various domestic rituals and traditions help bind a family together. And on yet another level it's about the Big Questions: why are we here? Why do we exist? What defines existence? Although the Mennyms are dolls, they all have very human, very real personalities. They're very ordinary, very middle-class "people", but Waugh is such an acute and sensitive writer (she's won a ton of kids' lit awards) that you very soon forget that these characters aren't human. If Barbara Pym or Graham Greene had decided to take a stab at writing for kids or young adults they might have come up with something like this.

The Mennyms is the first in a series of five novels, all of which deal in one way or another with the Mennyms trying to avoid exposure and find out how they came to be. There are moments in this series that are unbearably tense and others that are heartbreaking, so much so that I wonder if kids will be able to deal with them. The last novel of the five isn't as strong as one might hope, but overall this series has to rate as a classic of children's literature.

Read more of my reviews at JettisonCocoon dot com.
Malanim
THE MENYMNS proves a delightful tale for kids of all ages. Incorrectly compared with THE BORROWERS the title characters are not miniature humans--but rag dolls, created by long-deceased Aunt Kate, which somehow became Alive. Three generations uner one roof experience the typical stress and trauma of complex interpersonal relations. Cleverly disguised when they must venture forth into London they communicate with the real world by
and the telephone. Because they were stitched/created as full-scale humans none of their neighbors suspects their impossible existence.

The cast of characters (who vie for the role of protagonist and secondary characters) includes: elderly Sir Magnus and his wife, Tulip;
their son, Joshua, who works as a night watchman and his wife, Vinetta. Teenage son, Soobie, prefers reading and hates Pretending with a passion; tart-tongued Appleby,15-16, is cheeky to all but still her grandfather's favorite: ten-year-old twins Wimpey and Poopie. Last on the roster: the infant Googles and the diffident Miss Quigly (only a regular--not rag--doll) who lives in obscurity in a kitchen closest.

The catalyst for conflict occurs when a letter arrives from a mysterious cousin in Australia named Albert Pond, who states that he has
inherited the home where they have paid rent for 40 years, and is eager to visit them. This throws the entire adult household into a tizzy of fear and creativity, as it seems impossible for them to pull off the extended farce of being human. How to handle this impeding disaster?
Their daily real Pretends fade into memories of former peace, as they are forced to cope with Albert's letters and his insistence to meet his British cousins.

Relying on Appleby's cleverness Sir Magnus appoints her to respond to Albert, but family dynamics are strained as tension increases. As if this did not provide enough plot twists, there is a stunning surprise awaiting them all in the dusty attic. The adults cope with truculent teenagers and the wistful yearning to be human, while Soobie is disgusted with their ridiculous Pretends. How can the female "dolls" gain
long-overdue respect in a male-dominated household? Most importantly: how much is a rag doll "born knowing?" How can one catch up on 40 years of non-living with the inevitable non-memories, to ultimately interface with those who have had 40 years to adjust to their perpetual age? A cute and
interesting read.