The dramatic and colourful tale of the Spangles, a nineteenth century circus family, and their lives, loves, romances and rivalries against the backdrop of London town. The story follows Ellen, the ringmaster's daughter and one half of horse-riding duo The Incredible Scarletta Sisters, as she struggles to break with family tradition and get an education - and to hide her sister's secret romance with a rival circus owner's son...A beautifully written historical adventure, from the author of Wendy and Raspberries on the Yangtze.
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(216mm x 135mm x mm)
Simon & Schuster Children's
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Though kids no longer dream of running away to the circus, teen girls may be lured to a vicarious escape via this 19th-century tale set in London's East End. Ellen, 16, and Lucy Spangle, 14, have been raised as star horseback riders headlining the family circus. When Lucy falls during a dangerous stunt, she fatally breaks her neck. The tragedy is only the beginning of a roller coaster of calamities. Ellen's yearning to leave the circus to become a governess drives the plot as two romances-a dreamy gentleman who charms her with visions of visiting Venice and handsome, honest Joe, son of the rival circus owner-entangle her feelings and complicate the family's struggles. Add to the mix a devastating fire that almost kills her father, Ellen's skill at healing and British upper-class snobbery. Readers will be way ahead of the author, and, like watching a melodrama, want to call out advice to the characters. Stiff-collar tone, some overly dramatic moments and plot fripperies keep the action tumbling but nick a few "spangles" off the appeal. (Historical fiction. 11-14) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Karen Wallace
Canadian-born Karen Wallace is the author of over 70 books for children, including Emerald and the bestselling Raspberries on the Yangtze. She was born in Canada, but now lives in Herefordshire with her husband and a large cat called Cougar.