A boy used to predictability joins forces with a girl who wants to belong in this wildly funny adventure.
STEM genius Sebastian lives a perfectly appropriate life, but when he accidentally goes the wrong way down a creepy alley on the way home from school, he winds up at The Explorers Society, where order is turned upside down and backward. When the society’s president tells Sebastian to do something “inappropriate” as part of his punishment for trespassing, he steals a mysterious box from the society’s archives. Subsequently, he’s flung into the unexpected, where he meets orphan Evie, who has lived within the gray walls of the Wayward School since her parents died two years earlier. Her boring weekly dinners with the charitable Andersons take an unboring turn when two clearly villainous men show up looking for something. Before the kids—both of them white—know it, they’ve gone from strangers to friends working together to work out the fate of the Filipendulous Five, a famous group of explorers that mysteriously disbanded years ago and to whom Evie has a personal connection. Animals in teeny hats, Wonderland-style logic, and loads of wordplay and sarcasm will keep readers giggling all the way through to the dramatic—and metafictive—cliffhanger.
Readers will look forward to the sequel to this dizzying loop-the-loop. (Adventure. 8-13)