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Summary

'Milou,' Lotta said softly. 'We need adoption papers to leave. And no one except that horrid merchant wants us.' 'Well then,' replied Milou with a grin. 'We'll just have to adopt ourselves.' 

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 1886, 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, who were swiftly and firmly deemed 'the unadoptables'. Twelve years on, the children still have each other - until the fateful night a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains - and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them to their mysterious new home.

©2020 Hana Tooke (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Brilliant story for all ages.

Beautiful story, had me gripped from start to finish. Such wonderful imagery of Holland in the 1800s and really hoping for a sequal. Really recommend this book. Read well with funny voices and character differentiation. Loved it.

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Enchanting

Any child,boy or girl or adult will love this charming story. It’s a bit of a shock to read how orphans were used but I think we know that poor children had a rough time of life in those days.

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Best book ever

It was a great for all the family. Well read and enjoyed very much.

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(Nearly) Perfect

I'm about halfway through and so far enjoy it very much. It's warmly told and rich in details, and as someone who lived in the Netherlands for some time it's refreshing to have a story set in this beautiful country. Sadly though the narrator's pronounciation of Dutch words is way off, sometimes so much it is hard to recognise them; and there seems to be some accent confusion between German and Dutch. It's grating ... but the story is well worth getting through.

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Mystery, friendship, this story has it all!

I read this as an adult with a view to reading it to my year 4 class. This story grips you right from the start and tells the tale of 5 orphans who were abandoned at a 'Oliver Twist' type orphanage. The friends experience terror, hope, mystery and heartwarming moments looking for one of the orphan's parents. Never a dull moment, I really liked it from start to finish and it has the added bonus of an excellent narrator! I think this book would suit ks2 children through to adults.

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fab read/listen

loved it and so did my 9 year old perfect year 4/5 book. not like orphan annie that's for sure

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  • Renai Chatman
  • 27-12-20

A Great read while walking!

I would love for my Grands-to listen. The small girl inside of me was thrilled! I enjoyed it and was not disappointed! Shows you what determination can lead you to! The narrator was fabulous! Good does triumph over bad! Well done!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-10-20

poor idea for book

setting for story is supposed to be in the 1800s but has many historically inaccurate character behaviors. besides the fact that 5 malnourished, uneducated, mistreated orphans supposedly outwit and outsmart all the adults they come into contact with? I guess this makes for acceptable children's literature these days?

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  • Chris Hulderson
  • 25-09-20

Can we listen to the next one?

We just finished listening to The Unadoptables. “What a dramatic book!” Says my 8 yo. “The characters we cool. I would totally be friends with them. My favorite was Milou. Though Lotta was so smart.”
The story provided a little something for all of us, mystery, suspense and an occasional laugh. We all look forward to learning Egg’s story.