Following her mother’s tragic death and her father’s disappearance, Lily’s blonde hair turns gray, and she wanders aimlessly until she stumbles upon a circus, where her uncanny ability to juggle, tumble, and do stunts amazes the other performers. Two narrators with playful yet knowing voices tell Lily’s tale, regularly referring to the reader as the “spectator.” This seems awkward at first, but as one narrator reminds us, “You, our esteemed spectator, have come expecting a show.” Indeed, reading this occasionally tense story offers the same sort of thrilling, voyeuristic experience as attending the circus where Lily performs–it may be tempting to look away, but the action is just too compelling.
Ultimately, the wayward Lily finds a sort of home at the circus. Since she can’t remember her name or how she got there, the circus master dubs her Silver, a reference to her shimmering gray hair. This installment of Lily’s story ends abruptly, with the promise that more will be revealed in the next book. Lily may be on the precipice of fame, but anticipation regarding new enemies and what will happen when she discovers her harrowing history will keep “esteemed spectators” coming back for more.
Takeaway: A nine-year-old girl with secret powers meets disaster and triumph in this fantastical story.
Great for fans of: Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl, Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A