Splendors and Glooms

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Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 4n/an/an/a
Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her sorcery to a Victorian gothic thriller — an enthralling, darkly comic tale that would do Dickens proud.

The master puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, is so expert at manipulating his stringed puppets that they appear alive. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, is spellbound by Grisini’s act and invites him to entertain at her birthday party. Seeing his chance to make a fortune, Grisini accepts and makes a splendidly gaudy entrance with caravan, puppets, and his two orphaned assistants.
Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are dazzled by the Wintermute home. Clara seems to have everything they lack — adoring parents, warmth, and plenty to eat. In fact, Clara’s life is shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets. When Clara vanishes that night, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon the puppeteer and, by association, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall.
As they seek to puzzle out Clara’s whereabouts, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it’s too late.
Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz’s Victorian gothic is a rich banquet of dark comedy, scorching magic, and the brilliant and bewitching storytelling that is her trademark.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published on January 7, 2014 by Candlewick
ISBN-10: 0763669261
ISBN-13: 9780763669263
7 Book Reviews
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  • hollowitz
    hollowitzSunday, January 1, 2017 at 10:24 pm
    I WANT TO READ! HEARD IT WAS AWESOME!
    • crystaldolphin
      crystaldolphinWednesday, December 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm55 starsFeatured
      BEST BOOK ON EARTH! WHEN I FINISH READING IT I COULD START ALL OVER AGAIN! This book is about a girl named Clara Wintermute the only child of a wealthy doctor and his wife ( because her brothers and sisters have passed). One day she sees the master puppeteer Gaspare Grisini and his two workers (that are orphans) Lizzie Rose a dainty young lady and Parsefall whose secrets are to dark to discover. Clara became spellbound by their act and invites them to entertain her guests for her birthday party. Seeing his chance to make a fortune the master agrees. Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are amazed by the Wintermute home and they see Clara seems to have everything they lack; parents, warmth, and plenty of food. But what they don't know is that Clara's life is actually shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets. When she vanishes the suspicion falls on the puppeteer. As they seek out Clara the orphans uncover Grisini's criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves in a trap set by his ancient rival a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed the fire opal before it is to late. PLZ READ THIS BOOK< GET IT< AND LOVE IT! THANK U!!!!!
      • enchanted7
        enchanted7Monday, November 2, 2015 at 1:35 am55 stars
        This book has to do with a magic puppeteer. He turned Clara into a puppet and is planning to turn the person who steals the fire opal into his manipulating tool! You should read this book in the most absolute reasons!
        • supsauce102
          supsauce102Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7:31 am
          I REALLY WANNA READ IT.
          • 20amehlman
            20amehlmanSunday, July 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm55 stars
            I loved this book because of the elements of surprise and the mysteries within it. A great story with a hint of magic is amazing.
            • lucy4595
              lucy4595Monday, June 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm
              one of my favorites
              • thumsup
                thumsupWednesday, May 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm55 starsFeatured
                I can say it as seriously and intricately as the plot of this book- I love it. It's so enchanting and beautiful, with some British dialect and spells and labyrinths and puppets. If you get a chance, you should read it. *And I JUST finished it, so you can take word from someone who has been reading for an hour- and- a- half nonstop.

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