Having recently perused the fantastical novel “The League of Beastly Dreadfuls,” the upstanding fifth-grade class of Georgetown Community School celebrated their accomplishment with a special tea party, hosted by the custodians of the nearby John Tomay Memorial Library.
Thither also went this reporter, one Lydia-Louise Rosalie Knuckletooth, to record the April 28 occasion for the annals of history.
Like the novel “The League of Beastly Dreadfuls,” the aforementioned tea party was inspired by elements from our world’s Victorian age, along hints of the magical and macabre.
The students were invited to partake in a spread of prudeberry scones, bogcakes, Prim’s favorite pickles, mouse-destroyer bait, not-at-all-poisoned peppermints and delectable cupcakes. Even though the table was overrun with stuffed mice and rats, along with their chocolate-colored droppings, the brave students defied convention and ate the treats anyway.
After finishing their duplicitous delights, those present reviewed their horoscopes, which predicted fates of studying phrenology, becoming barber-surgeons, and dabbling in mesmerism. The group also touched on the topics of leeches, magnetic corsets and professional mourners during this conversation.
As a form of entertainment, the group began a game wherein students divided into teams and attempted to ascertain what item or scene from the novel their teammate had depicted in a drawing. The game, which those in unpolished society call Pictionary, ended in a draw.
All the revelry was centered on the novel the students have been reading as part of their coursework since January. As described by their instructor, the renowned Mrs. Braakman, her class discussed the book weekly as a sort of book club, overseen by the author, who is a curator of the library and the hostess of the aforementioned tea party.
This author, who writes under her legal name, Holly Grant, detailed how she and Mrs. Braakman have collaborated on an annual book club for the school’s fifth-grade students since 2019. Each year, the students examine “The League of Beastly Dreadfuls,” and Grant has found how each new class is enthralled by the mystery surrounding its main character and her new residence.
In the novel, Anastasia, age 10, is whisked away by two elderly women claiming to be her great-aunts. These women, Prim and Prudence, take her to live at a former asylum, where she becomes suspicious of them and discovers a long-kept secret about her own identity.
Harriet Forget-Me-Not Whippletree, a fifth-grader more commonly known in society as Zoey Dunn, declared her appreciation for the novel’s sinister atmosphere. Moreover, she stated she liked everything about it.
Likewise, her classmate Ulysses Carbuncle — alias George Culp — also affirmed his approbation of the novel’s central mystery, stating he delighted in discovering what happened in the asylum as Anastasia does.
In addition to the mystery, fellow fifth-grader Monty Ambidexter Bracegirdle — who is called Sage Gibbons by his close relations — found the supernatural aspects of the story to be most engaging.
As the event drew to a close, the students could scare pull themselves away from the library and its treats to return to their place of education.
After some reflection in the wake of the students’ departure, Grant at last declared how it’s always a pleasure to partner with area schools for these activities and how working with Mrs. Braakman’s students and their peers always brings her such great felicity.