Everyone who knows me knows that Kate DiCamillo is my favorite writer, but I'm usually talking about her many wonderful middle-grade novels, like Because of Winn-Dixie or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
I don't remember the last time I was so excited about recommending a book. I just discovered this masterpiece and now it's sitting propped up on my desk, partly because it's too big to fit any of my bookshelves (!) but also because Oh. My. Goodness. It's beautiful.
With echoes of Jane Eyre and Dickens, the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood features a delightfully plucky young governess, lovably mischievous children, pithy wisdom, an abundance of classic literary allusions, arcane facts about ferns and other useful subjects, mysteries, family curses, and even an ostrich.