Splendors and glooms /

by Schlitz, Laura Amy.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2012Edition: 1st ed.Description: xii, 384 p. ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780763653804; 0763653802.Other title: Splendors & glooms.Subject(s): Puppets -- Juvenile fiction | Orphans -- Juvenile fiction | Kidnapping -- Juvenile fiction | Witches -- Juvenile fiction | Blessing and cursing -- Juvenile fiction | London (England) -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile fiction | Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901 -- Juvenile fiction | Chapter booksSummary: 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.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her sorcery to a Victorian gothic thriller -- an enthralling, darkly comic tale that would do Dickens proud. <br> <br> 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. <br> <br> 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. <br> <br> 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.

School Library Journal starred, August 2012

Booklist starred, June 2012

Pub Weekly, July 2012

Kirkus Starred, June 2012

Horn Book, September 2012

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.

5.5.

5-8 Follett Library Resources.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Horn Book Review

Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, two Victorian waifs living under the guardianship of Grisini, a Fagin-like crook, magician, and puppeteer, cross paths with Clara, the cosseted only child of a London doctor. This meeting results in a kidnapping, the magical imprisonment of Clara in puppet form, and encounters with an aging witch, Cassandra; the whole plot of the book hinges on the curse of a fire opal. In this not-quite-parody novel Schlitz takes the conventions of melodrama and fleshes them out with toothsome scene setting (shes especially good on smells, gothic architectural touches, and the minutiae of Victorian death conventions) and surprising, original character details. The two heroes are fine foils for each other, the Victorian-good Lizzie Rose versus the street-pragmatic Parsefall. Grisini, with his back story in Venice, is pure moustache-twirling evil, and Cassandra is an intriguing portrait of bitter, regretful old age and bone-deep malevolence. The language is rich and lively, and Schlitz, exhibiting the delicate control of a puppeteer of words, even pulls off comic cockney: "But with your daughter, sir, there isnt any homnibus, and when theres no homnibus, theres ope." sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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