Splendors and Glooms
author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Laura Amy Schlitz’s Newbery Honor–winning Victorian gothic is a rich banquet of dark comedy, scorching magic, and bewitching storytelling. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, invites master puppeteer Grisini to entertain at her birthday party. When Clara vanishes that night, suspicion falls upon the puppeteer and his orphaned assistants. The three children — two penniless waifs and one pampered heiress — have been caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance she’s determined to shed before it’s too late.
“A brooding, Dickensian novel with a touch of fantasy and a glimmer of hope. . . . As mysterious and timeless as a fairy tale.” — Booklist (starred review)