In Oddfellow's Orphanage, Emily Martin brings a very strange place to life with her unique style of both art and writing.
The main narrative character is Delia, a recently orphaned albino girl who doesn't speak. We see episodes from her first year at the orphanage. Each episode is full of charm, good spirits, and a beautiful acceptance of children (and adults!) who are far outside the world's norm. How a strange collection like this came under one roof is a mystery, and I would've loved a little bit of information on how Headmaster Oddfellow always knew when an extraordinary child had been orphaned. Also, Delia immediately accepts her new life and is happy. We don't see grief over lost parents at all. While this book isn't built for heavy grief and difficult adjustments, I would've liked just a bit more in the story so that young readers who've experienced loss might see themselves in the pages.
Those are small detractions,however. This book is lovely, magical, and endearing. My eleven year old son read it and loved it as much as I did. I recommend it.