Abel Dandy feels all alone, a normal teenager who lives in Faeryland, where his parents perform with other "human oddities." His extended family includes dwarves, fat ladies, and Siamese twins, and his first kiss was with Phoebe the Dog-Faced Girl. Everyone has an act to perform, for in 1899 there are not many ways for these "freaks" to earn a living. But what can boring Abel do? Determined to seek adventure and find a girl without a beard to kiss, Abel runs away from home.
But Abel finds a harsh world outside of Faeryland. Nothing seems to go as planned and he is even more alone -- except for a beautiful dancing girl who haunts his dreams and seems connected to his ancient Egyptian scarab ring. After misadventure and mishap (complicated by a little problem he thought he'd left behind), Abel stumbles upon a shabby traveling freak show run by the sinister Dr. Mink. It holds secrets that break his heart. Abel's grand adventure takes a dark and dangerous twist, but the dazzling girl of his dreams beckons him onward as does his own true soul.
Annette Curtis Klause has woven humor, adventure, history, and fantasy into this exhilarating epic. Step inside and see the show -- if you dare. You will never be the same again!
Annette Curtis Klause was born in Bristol, England, and moved to the United States when she was a teenager. As a child she spouted such fanciful ideas that her peers thought she was an oddity. Having an imagination turned out to be valuable -- she grew up to become a storyteller. Annette currently lives in the Maryland suburbs with her husband and six cats. Three are from SiameseRescue.org, but none are actually Siamese twins -- although one is the fastest cat on three legs and another likes to balance on top of the scratching post like a circus cat. Annette still works full-time as a children's librarian. Bouncing around like a giant bunny during preschool story time is just another way of being paid to be odd, she says.
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (January 1, 2006)