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  • Published: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 384 p. ; 23 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 670

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780763653804
  • 0763653802

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Splendors and glooms

by Schlitz, Laura Amy.

There are currently 6 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Y Fiction / Schlitz, Laura Amy, R Newbery Honor 2013

Available Copies: Downtown Youth, Malletts Youth

Additional Details

When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.

Community Reviews

Great, but maybe a bit disturbing for some kids

I suppose this is classified as youth fiction because it is about young people, but at contains some rather dark and frightening images of children reduced to extreme helplessness that could easily trouble a sensitive child (I like to imagine there are still sensitive children in this day and age).

Three children fall under the influence of an evil sorcerer/puppeteer and must rely on themselves and each other to survive. If you wanted you could fit the children neatly into standard cliches - poor little rich girl, plucky orphan, etc - but that never turns out to be a bother because the characters are so well-developed and sympathetic that they never seem like cliches. The story takes place in a rather Dickensian universe, but is fresh and original. A very satisfying read.

Dark but wonderful

This book won't be for everyone. It's often very dark and the villains are irredeemably bad. But for fans of Victorian Gothic novels it'll be a pip.

Reads like a better plotted, child's version of The Night Circus.

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