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Jean C. Thomson

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 184

[The Children of the House is a] book designed to leave its readers downcast…. [It is] a juvenile book reduction of the Sitwells' dilemma. The fantasy play that [E. Nesbit's] characters indulged in under similar circumstances is absent here…. [The children] never have any real adventures. An epilogue reveals the children's fates: Tom and Hugh killed in World War I; Laura dead from a disease caught while nursing soldiers; Margaret, the sole survivor, living abroad alone. Though the theme and tone are more appropriate to an adult short story …, this slim, well-written novel may have a certain melancholy charm for pre-teen readers. Presenting an emphatically gloomy statement about a side of aristocratic life seldom well and truly exposed elsewhere in juvenile books, this can also be read as a social document—an interesting, if weird, experience for young readers. (pp. 84-5)

Jean C. Thomson, "Grades 3-6: 'The Children of the House'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the November, 1968 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1968), Vol. 93, No. 20, November, 1968, pp. 84-5.

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