Hana Tooke: The Unadoptables (Penguin Random House 2020)
Many thanks to Maxim Könyvkiadó for sending me the book!
Hana Tooke was born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands in 1985 and grew up on a polder near Amsterdam. Their house was filled with special clocks and her head with special thoughts. She moved to England when she was a teenager. She has been singing and writing songs since her childhood and studied music at Plymouth University. Her writing career began when she decided to start her thesis with a fairy tale. Later, she taught in elementary school for several years, and currently works with children with special educational needs. According to her own admission, she is constantly amazed by the curiosity, determination and imagination of children, and she very much hopes that she will be like them when she grows up.
Hana recently received her degree in writing from Bath Spa University. It was here where she wrote her debut novel, The Unadoptables. Since then, she has participated in the preparation of an anthology for the 80th anniversary of Puffin Books, as well as the publication of her second novel (The Midnighters), which will soon be available in Hungarian.
The story of The Unadoptables begins in 1880, when five babies were left separately in front of the Little Tulip Orphanage in Amsterdam. What unites them is not only that they were all abandoned, but that each of them has some special ability:
Lotta is a scientist, mathematician and engineer, and once even made a telescope.
Sem is very tall for his age and sews wonderfully.
Egbert is an Asian boy who draws very nicely and also made a map of the city.
Fenna doesn’t talk, cooks excellently, rarely smiles but then her smile lights up the whole room.
Milou is a wonderful storyteller who is just waiting for her parents to finally come for her. In the meantime, she makes up stories about them and writes down her ideas in her notebook.
The friendship of the five of them is the island in the “ocean of sorrow” they share because of the evil leader of the orphanage. However, when she tries to sell them to a suspicious underworld figure, the children escape and go in search of Milou’s parents. During their adventures, they show that they can do anything together. The most important lesson of the book is that perseverance and devotion always bring the awaited results.