In the enormous city of the Addition, all children are SAFE, SECURE, and SUPERVISED, and are watched by cameras even while they sleep. Henrietta is unlikable at her competitive school until she meets Gary and Rose. They all share something in common: headaches with an unknown cause. Then, late one night, Henrietta makes a startling discovery when she finds a wounded cat in the attic above her bedroom. Soon after, a series of strange occurrences follow, including the appearance of a threatening creature with long, waxy fingers, who calls itself the Wikkeling. With the help of an ancient Bestiary, will Henrietta and her friends solve these mysteries before the Wikkeling finally catches them? Age: Middle Reader 8-12
Steven Arntson lives in Seattle. He earned an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently divides his time between writing stories, composing and performing music, and teaching music and writing to high school and college students. He lives with his wife in an attic apartment in an old house with three cats and many bicycles. This is his first book for children.
James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy
“A truly original piece of work. Swinging from funny to creepy to intriguing, it kept me enthralled throughout. I loved it.”
Kirkus, May 2011
"The 13 stories, from a range of authors including several who have previously written mostly for adults, range from romance to horror, cover a gamut of times and places …machinery and punk spirit."
Books at Midnight, May 2011
"short yet pleasurable, like whiffs of a delicious, passing aroma.”
The Book Smuggler, 5/27/11
"The Wikkeling is an interesting endeavor, mixing a horrific sort of Coraline-ish fantasy element with a dystopian, high-technology society. … wonderfully creepy and brilliantly imagined."
Deseret News, 8/21/11
"The Wikkeling” is a combination of fairy tale elements (monsters, secret attic rooms, hidden passages and turrets in castles) juxtaposed against modern media-driven technology (lilac smelling exhaust, commercials emitted in cars and computers counting down to their own obsolescence)… Arntson’s balance of past, present and dystopian future is skillfully handled… Terrazzini’s eerie black and white shadow drawings and the detailed pages from the handwritten Bestiary add to the antiquated feel of the Old World of books.”
The Memorial Hall Library
“The Wikkeling is a fascinating and unusual novel for older readers…The author warns the reader that not (all of these) problems will be solved during the story: “She will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle. She will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she’s a good girl inside. She will not find out that she’s actually a princess, and she won’t become happily forever when a prince marries her. Those books are out there, and your school librarian can help you find one. This isn’t it.” … Parents will also enjoy some of the ironic humor in this story.”
“A little spooky, a bit complicated, and very much well worth it… 4/5 stars, highly recommend it.”
Kansas City Public Library, reviewed by Ron Freeman“Wonderful… Arntson’s vision is scary and believable…, a compelling story… I would recommend this book to kids ages 11 and up who like dark visions of the future.” alibi.com
“The Wikkeling is empowering for anyone who has ever been, or ever will be, a kid in middle school. It’s also a fantastic read.”