Eleven-year-old Mattie Marvelwood comes from a family of traveling performers. Her dad is an illusionist; her mom is a fortune-teller; her brother has a vanishing act; and she herself is a mind-reader. But the Marvelwoods have a deep secret. When they join Master Morogh’s Circus of Wonders, the strange ringmaster begins to sense what that secret is, endangering the whole family. Do the Marvelwoods run, or risk exposure by trying to beat the duplicitous ringmaster at his own game?
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From Kirkus Reviews:
The close-knit family of diverse circus folk is the book’s highlight. Mattie’s da is from a Scottish Traveller clan, and Maya is Indian. There’s an Italian family of aerialists; a Sumatran tiger tamer; a quintet of Hungarian tumblers; and a dark-skinned tightrope walker.
A hair-raising, exhilarating, big-top mystery.
From School Library Journal:
The Marvelwoods are mighty interesting…The suspenseful plot moves quickly, and Zahler vividly portrays the unbearable pain of losing an innate part of one’s self.
VERDICT Bound to entice voracious and reluctant readers alike.