BOOK CLUB: The History of Mischief

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[Total: 3 Average: 4.7]

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

5 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The History of Mischief

  1. This book is such a great read. It covers so many themes: love, family, loss, friendship, courage, adventure but most importantly that there can be magic in life!
    The story centres around 9 year old Jessie and her older sister Kay. After their parents die in a tragic accident Kay becomes Jessie’s guardian. They move into their grandmothers house where they find the book ‘The History of Mischief’ hidden under the floorboards. After the loss of their parents the book becomes an escape from their grief. The sisters bond over the historical stories, adventures and mischiefs that they read in the book.
    We the reader are also taken on a magical journey with lots of intrigue.
    A wonderful book to escape into!

  2. An absolutely beautiful story, as magical as its cover.

    The story enchants as it weaves family history with stories of mystery, mythology and folklore.

    While aimed at a younger audience this book appealed to me until the last page and is definitely one I’ll be sharing around.

  3. Review by Ruby age 11:
    The beginning was quite sad, I’m used to books starting happy but this was not the case. I liked the ending. I felt it had a good story line, giving it 8/10 stars. The journal entries were a bit long hence the 2 stars less. Overall a great book that I’ll pass onto my friends. Thank for the review.

  4. The History of Mischief by Rebecca Higgie was an interesting read. To be honest, I’m still a little unsure about how I feel about it…
    The story revolves around 9-year-old Jessie and her older sister Kay who have recently had their lives turned upside down after the sudden death of their parents in a car accident. As a result, they move into their abandoned grandmothers house. At the house they stumble across a mysterious old book that is hidden in the floorboards called ‘The History of Mischief’. Jessie is especially enthralled in the book and becomes determined in finding out the truth behind the stories within.
    As well as the wonderful storyline of Jessie and Kay, you are also provided with some of the stories contained within the book. I found these really interesting and fun to read and it was easy to see how Jessie would become so obsessed with the book.
    I think I got a bit confused in regard to their neighbour and some of the side story there. I can’t say much for fear of spoilers, but I felt there were some parts left unanswered. Towards the end also got me a little muddled as well, I had to keep flipping back and checking who was who! The very end of the book was sweet though and I was happy with how it finished. I actually feel I might need to re-read the book to fully understand and take everything in as there was a lot going on throughout the book however, this meant there was never a dull moment!
    This book is aimed at Young Adults (which I most definitely am not!), but it kept me intrigued!
    Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace and to Fremantle Press for the chance to read this very different book which I think I will appreciate and enjoy even more the second time around.
    I also wanted to make note that I really appreciated the beautiful way in which it arrived, wrapped beautifully, it became even more of a special treat of receiving a new book to read!

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