BOOK CLUB: The History of Mischief

What a fabulously different book, I absolutely loved it. Although this book is suggested to for Middle Readers, I found The History of Mischief by Rebecca Higgie an enthralling and enchanting book to read as an adult.

After surviving a car accident that killed both her parents, 9 years old Jessie is struggling to find her place in the world.  She and her older sister Kay move into their grandma’s old house, as Grandma is now living in a nursing home.  Kay works at the library and has suddenly been faced with, not only the death of both her parents but, having to raise a traumatised 9 years old who, amongst other issues, refuses to get into another car.

Then one day they find a strange book hidden under the floorboards at Grandma’s home. The book is handwritten and purports to be a copy of the original “History of Mischief”, its pages traversing time from Diogenes to the late 1800s. Jessie is fascinated by the book, and Kay sees it as a way to assist in encouraging better behaviours from Jessie.  Kay agrees to read one story with Jessie at night, and then Jessie must research the events from the story and produce a report for Kay.

Each story represents the new “A Mischief” and reflects their life and strange acquired skills.  All the characters are real, but as Jessie begins to investigate the stories, she finds discrepancies in the time frames between her research and the book, but which is correct? She finds herself wondering who was the last A Mischief? Why was the book hidden under Grandma’s floorboards? And does her finding the book means is she meant to be the next A Mischief?

Meanwhile, there’s an old lady who lives across the road, with a cat named Cornelius, who vacuums her front driveway at four o’clock in the morning, and a strange boy at school, Theodore, who likes to sing and dance in Korean.  Theodore’s mum is extremely sick, and he’s trying to make 1000 origami cranes to make her better. As Jessie and Theodore begin to develop a friendship, he teaches her how to make the origami cranes and they often work together trying to achieve the magical 1000 number.

Then one day Kay arrives home to find someone has broken into their house but taken nothing.  Fearful of what this means she begins to turn the house into a residential version of Fort Knox.

As Jessie and Kay reach the end of the book, Jessie is shocked to discover that a number of pages have been torn out, now she has another mystery to add to the case of the strange man at the nursing home who hides every time he sees her and Kay, and how does Grandma fit into all of this?

This book will keep you entranced, from the beginning to the unexpected twist at the end.

I originally received this book through Better Reading and Fremantle Press, but am thrilled to be able to share it with a selection of Beauty and Lace members.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The History of Mischief by Rebecca Higgie. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 9-781925-816266 / Copy courtesy of Fremantle Press

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