Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz

In 19th century London, two orphaned children named Lizzie Rose and Parsefall assist Gaspare Grisini, a cruel master puppeteer. The troupe performs for the twelfth birthday celebration of Clara Wintermute—the remaining daughter of a family plummeted into grief. A series of tragic events is set in motion when Clara disappears and Grisini is suspected of kidnapping her.

When Lizzie and Parsefall do what they can to discover Clara’s whereabouts, they are entrapped in a plot devised by Grisini’s longstanding rival, a wicked witch striving to rid herself of a pernicious item. In this riveting juvenile novel, which contains some profanity, Lizzie Rose, Parsefall, and Clara overcome evil magic, danger, and hardship by loving, serving sacrificially, and extending mercy. Ages 10 and up. (Candlewick Press)

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