Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory

The Willy and Tommy Adventures Book 1

Children - Grade 4th-6th
237 Pages
Reviewed on 08/25/2015
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Author Biography

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband. When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers. Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory: The Willy and Tommy Adventures, Book 1 is a young adult and pre-teen paranormal fantasy novel written by Whitney Dineen. Wilhelmina Snodgrass is most definitely not impressed by her parents’ decision to move from their home in Mason, Illinois, to Monteith in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The eleven-year-old Willy was looking forward to beginning the new school year as a seventh-grader and being part of the swim team. She misses her friends who are probably back home practicing for the swim team tryouts. It’s different for her eight-year-old brother, Wendell, who’s already running around the street with brand new friends, but boys are not all that discriminating about who they play with anyway. Willy’s mom is sympathetic to her daughter’s woes. It’s not easy being in that tween state between kid and teen. She figures a shopping trip might be the answer to lifting her daughter’s blues, and it works a treat. In the first cool clothing store they find, Willy meets Charlene, a salesgirl who loves Willy’s red hair and just happens to have a sister who is Willy’s age. To make things even better, they’re practically neighbors.

Whitney Dineen’s young adult and pre-teen paranormal fantasy, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, is a fresh and original story about a young girl’s move to a new town and the friends she makes when she gets there. The outspoken Tommy is a marvelous counterpart for the somewhat diffident Willy, but I’d find it hard to point out any character in this enjoyable, haunting and haunted tale who wasn’t expertly crafted and quite believable. I loved the supernatural aspect of the plot and enjoyed seeing how Tommy and Willy interacted with Mrs. Carbunckle’s dead relatives. Monteith, Oregon is an inspired historical setting for this story, and the efforts the girls and their friends make to reopen the wig factory makes for an exciting and entertaining tale. Dineen leaves a few clues scattered throughout the story about the continued adventures of Willy and Tommy, and I’m looking forward to the subsequent volumes in this series. Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory is highly recommended.