Kerr, Esme. Mischief at Midnight
June 28th 2016 by Chicken House
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
Edie and Anastasia return to Knight's Haddon after their adventures in The Girl with the Glass Bird only to find that Edie has to room with recalcitrant new girl, Janet. Not only that, but other things are changing as well. The tower, which had been used by the students, has been sold, and the students are very disappointed. Anastasia's father and mother are still very remote, and after her father cancels birthday plans, the girls decide to go to a fair in the village by themselves. They are found out, of course, but not until after someone presses two ferrets upon them, and they manage to take them back to school. Miss Fotheringay gives Edie approval to keep them in the animal shed even though Anastasia considers them hers, and Janet takes quite a liking to them. Janet gets Edie into all kinds of trouble, because she is perfectly happy to get kicked out of school. Edie and Anastasia have a fragile relationship anyway, and when Edie is accused of setting the ferrets free, the two fall out. Janet goes home with Edie for break, and seems to like Edie's family more than Edie does! Edie isn't comfortable breaking the rules, but she wants to remain friends with Janet, who manages to drag her into major trouble.
Knight's Haddon is a boarding school that many readers would love to attend. I can think of a lot of older books that feature this type of school, but it's harder to find one set in modern times. Girls who liked Harry Potter but don't normally read fantasy will find this foray into the drama of interpersonal relationships when schoolmates are also roomates will enjoy both books in the series.
Janet is an interesting character, if not a pleasant one. There are not a lot of students whose aim it is to get kicked out of school, but middle school certainly makes just about everyone entertain those thoughts from time to time!
Drama, intrigue, and lots of unauthorized adventures make Mischief at Midnight a great read for students who harbor fantasies of attending a British boarding school.