Emmaline Cayley loves to experiment with flying machines, but unfortunately, her worst fear is falling to her death. So she can’t pilot her own machine. Emmaline meets Rab, or Rubberbones, as the rest of the kids call him, after he falls off Aunt Lucy’s roof. Rab is the perfect pilot for Emmaline; he is not afraid of falling, and better yet, he doesn’t get hurt, he bounces right back up. But before they can finish perfecting the flying machine, Emmaline is sent to St. Grimelda’s School for Young Ladies. Everything goes downhill from there. The headmistress is awful, the teachers are awful, and the students are awful – most of them anyways. The school also has a terrifying way of keeping its students, or more accurately, its prisoners, in line. No one has ever escaped St. Grimelda’s before. Emmaline knows this, but still all she can think of is escaping. With help from many different friends, and even some non-friends, both inside the school and out, Emmaline come up with a plan. Will it work, and will Emmaline be able to conquer her greatest fear? Also, will the terrifying beasts from the school come after her?
The narrator has a way of making even the most serious parts of the book funny.I like the way both fact and fiction are combined in this book, but I found the story line a bit hard to follow. I also really like the way science played a large part in the book, though it was sometimes a bit confusing because I didn’t know all the science terms, so I couldn’t always visualize the machine they were making. The pictures were an interesting style. They were very detailed, but no always completely accurate, so they were sometimes distracting.
Yorkshire, England 1894
The name Yorkshire is named after York, which was shortened from the viking name Jorvik, which was an interpretation of the Anglo-Saxon name Eoforwic. The “shire” part of the name came from Yorkshire being the country or “shire” of York City and it also has been known as Eoferwicscir, the County of York and Le Counte d’ Everwyck. Here is a picture of what St. Grimelda’s could have looked like in the 1800’s. It’s an old castle in the 1800’s in Yorkshire.