House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

Personally, I really enjoy whimsical fantasies full of bumbling characters, clever retorts, and funny magical twists. And anyone who has read Patricia C. Wrede, Caroline Stevermer, or Diana Wynne Jones is familiar with this fun, light-hearted, quirky style of story-telling. Jones fits the bill with House of Many Ways.
Her fun, book-loving protagonist pulls her nose out of her books long enough to land a house-keeping job for her magician uncle. Unfortunately, our little heroine doesn’t know a thing about magic. Thus her adventures (and misadventures) are particularly humorous. Add a handful of magical and non-magical compatriots, some favorite characters from one of Jones’ other books (you don’t have to read her “Moving Castle” book to enjoy this book though), and a bad guy with a mean egg-implanting sting, and you have a fun-filled little fantasy.
My issues with it as an award-winning book: I can’t see many guys really going for this book, and I feel strongly that a true award-winning book should appeal to both genders. Also, it took a little while to get into it…just a little bit of a slow start. It just wasn’t always as compelling as I wanted it to be.

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