Smoke and Mirrors

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About The Book

“Rewarding.” —BCCB (starred review)
“Enchanting.” —Booklist
“This is a story to savor.” —Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor–winning author of The Underneath and Keeper

Circus Mirandus meets Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms in this “Wrinkle in Time­–inspired…artful” (Kirkus Reviews) fantasy novel about a girl who must face her fears in order to right a terrible wrong, confront what it means to be different, and discover her own power.

Smoke has come to the Cirque Magnifique. And Sasha Brown is sure it is her fault.

Sasha has always loved the Cirque, a place filled with sequined costumes, dazzling spotlights, and magnificent tents. But when she starts fifth grade with the Islanders—the ordinary folk from the other side of the Island—for the first time, she starts to question her home and her Cirque family. Is the magic real? Are the stories even true? Faced with the Island kids’ bullying and scorn, Sasha isn’t so sure she wants to be a Cirque kid anymore, and the swirling, blue-gray Smoke appears.

One night in the big tent, Sasha’s dad performs, twisting his body through the air as the lights dance. Sasha is supposed to be helping, but instead she sits beneath the bleachers, seething. She wishes for the Smoke to come and make it all disappear: the Cirque, her family, the Island with its mean Island kids. And the Smoke does come. As Sasha watches her dad, he flips and raises his arms out for the bar that is supposed to meet him, his bright grin confident and sure. But there is only air…and Smoke.

Both of Sasha’s parents disappear that night, and it’s all Sasha’s fault. What can she do but try and find them—even if her journey takes her to the end of the world?

About The Author

K.D. Halbrook is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novels Every Last Promise, which Kirkus Reviews called “lyrically written and ebbing with suspense” in a starred review, and Nobody but Us, which Booklist deemed “raw, immediate, and utterly unflinching.” Smoke and Mirrors is her first middle grade novel, and BCCB called it “rewarding” in a starred review. Halbrook is the cofounder of the popular website YAHighway.com and lives with her family in Seattle. She can be found online at KristinHalbrook.com and on Twitter @KristinHalbrook.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (July 7, 2020)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534405059
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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