I was in the children's section at the library a couple of months ago showing the new building to my friend and I came across Joan Aiken's books. I was attracted by their cover art by Edward Gorey. In this case, it seems, that you can judge a book by its cover! I started reading them and I think they are charming and fun! They are set in Edwardian England when there were still wolves on the island.
The series is interesting for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the series does not follow one main character, but rather each book moves from one to another--wonderfully connecting the books, but not always following the same person. Secondly, the books also traverse the Atlantic (like the author). They connect a time in England and the United States that is often thought of as quite disparate, especially in learning children's history. Dido Twite goes from the slums in London to being fished out of the Thames by a New England whaling vessel.