MMGM Sixth Grader Review: THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachmann

My sixth grader has returned with another MMGM review this week–Stefan Bachmann’s THE PECULIAR. And next week, I will for sure have a review from my fourth grader. She’s almost finished with a debut middle grade book she’s loving and plans to review. But first, I’ll let my sixth grader tell you about this fantasy middle grade.

The Peculiar by Stefan BachmannDon’t get yourself noticed and you won’t get yourself hanged.

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings—Peculiars—and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.

One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley—Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.

First he’s noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.

One of the things I like about THE PECULIAR is that the main character was very relatable. He was Peculiar, so it made him different from everyone else, but it still made you feel his fear and nervousness, even if you’ve never been an outsider. Bartholomew was always thinking about how he could save his sister and how he could help everyone and stop them from dying. I understood where he was coming from and why he did what he did.

Also, I liked how it was set in a world so unlike what we live in. The place was full of diverse people, but you see their individual needs and how the government could probably help. The setting was polluted and full of weird things that added a uniqueness that is hard to find. It took me away to a place that seems so different but it feels real.

Even more so, I liked how the author plotted out the story to have an ever-twisting plot. There were some times where it was as different as left and right. At the beginning I would have been thinking it was left, while the whole time it was right.

So, in the end, THE PECULIAR was an amazing read, and, like last time, I will give you no spoilers.

Responses to “MMGM Sixth Grader Review: THE PECULIAR by Stefan Bachmann”

  1. Greg Pattridge

    Sounds like some superb world building in this fantasy. Loved the unique left-right comparison. Your a kid reviewer who reviews like an adult! Keep up the great work.

  2. Natalie Aguirre

    Thanks for your great review. I read it awhile and really enjoyed it too. I agree that the plot was twisty. Thanks for your review.

  3. Patricia Tilton

    Wow, what a unique fantasy world, that is complicated and enjoyable. Can’t believe this exceptional review was written by a sixth grader. Keep reading and reviewing! You have talent!

  4. Jenni

    This sounds intriguing! There was a Dickensonian feel in the description, and I love twisty plots. Thanks for the fabulous review. I agree with what others have said–you have talent!

  5. rosihollinbeck

    I have always thought this is one of the most interesting covers I’ve ever seen. This isn’t the sort of book I would normally read, but you make it sound like I should step out of my comfort zone. Thanks for your thoughts on this one.


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