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Eleven-year-old Mattie Marvelwood comes from a family of traveling performers. Her dad is an illusionist; her mom is a fortune-teller; her brother has a vanishing act; and she herself is a mind-reader. But the Marvelwoods have a deep secret.
The acts they perform at carnivals, fairs, and circuses are not just acts. Their powers are real. In all their wanderings, the Marvelwoods have never met another performer with gifts like theirs—until they join Master Morogh’s Circus of Wonders! But it turns out that Master Morogh’s true talent is stealing the gifts of others. When he steals Mattie’s brother’s vanishing ability, the family has a big decision to make. Do they run, leaving Bell’s gift behind to save the rest of them, or risk exposure by trying to beat the duplicitous ringmaster at his own game?
"A hair-raising, exhilarating, big-top mystery." – Kirkus Reviews
"The Marvelwoods are mighty interesting...The suspenseful plot moves quickly, and Zahler vividly portrays the unbearable pain of losing an innate part of one's self...Bound to entice voracious and reluctant readers alike." – School Library Journal
"This is a wonderful tale of bravery, friendship, and mystery under the big top!" – School Library Connection
"Zahler has created realistic characters with believable emotions, and the circus setting is dynamic and full of exciting activity. (A)n engaging, well executed fantasy." – Booklist