There are a lot of people that are refusing to read, promote, and review this title. They find the orphan trope tiring, the message to children that they could be “unadoptable” horrifying, and have concerns about the physical appearance of said fictional orphans.
I’m reviewing this fantasy- fiction title after I bought it and read it in nearly one day. It’s a fast paced adventure story set in the late 1800’s. It does indeed have a Dickens/ Lemony Snicket type schtick. This is the description from the publisher:
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 1880, 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. And although their cruel matron might think they’re “unadoptable,” they know their individuality is what makes them special–and so determined to stay together.
When a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart, the gang make a daring escape across the frozen canals of Amsterdam. But is their real home–and their real family–already closer than they realize?UnAdoptables by Hana Tooke Viking Press
Obviously any kid can have a sensitive issue with any life event, and I am in no way minimizing the real life horror of foster children today. However this book is fully fictional, set so long ago that children were indeed mistreated for how thy looked and acted. Also, orphanages were especially awful in other ways too during those years.
But, I wouldn’t even stretch and call this historical fiction. It’s a silly, light, creative tale set in the picturesque setting of Amsterdam (some of it in a windmill!)
Bonus trope: found family (which is my fave)
In fact, after reading it I feel like it is getting more publicity from the one star ratings then it would if it had a normal type of release?
Long story short- if you choose to skip it you aren’t missing a five star read and if you do choose to read it it’ll make an entertaining 3-4 night bedtime story read aloud. I liked it and gave it four stars on Goodreads.