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THE RISE OF THE HOUSE OF MCNALLY by Philip Ardagh

THE RISE OF THE HOUSE OF MCNALLY

The Third Unlikely Exploit

By Philip Ardagh (Author) , David Roberts (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7478-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

Ardagh uses the third of his Unfor—er, “Unlikely Exploits” to resolve by main force the tangled plot of the first two, while showing that the seeming baddies aren’t really villains at all, and leaving the radically impoverished McNally clan with both a rich friend and interesting magical abilities. Amid a barrage of flashbacks, scene cuts and authorial asides, Duffy (met in the previous episode and, rather typically, part man, part teddy bear thanks to some inspired surgery) reveals that he and two companions are refugees from an overcrowded future, reluctantly ready to return, as their very presence in this era is tearing the planet apart. Enlisted to help, the McNally children see it through with a bit of time-slipping of their own, then go off to help brain transplant survivor (not the only one here, either) Tom Dwyer/Lionel Lyons spend his riches on charitable causes. Though incomprehensible to readers unfamiliar with the preceding events (and even then . . . ), this farcical import, enlivened, if that’s the word, with small, Edward Gorey-esque ink drawings, tumbles along merrily to a happy ending on the strength of its unusually daffy supporting cast and resourceful main characters. (Fiction. 10-12)