cover image Spell & Spindle

Spell & Spindle

Michelle Schusterman, illus. by Kathrin Honesta. Random House, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-399-55070-6

Set in 1952, Schusterman’s suspenseful, complex tale of adventure, magic, and soul-swapping stars an unstoppable pair of siblings, 13-year-old Constance and 11-year-old Chance Bonvillain, as well as a sad and startlingly lifelike marionette, Penny. Constance and Chance have always lived above the rundown Museum of the Peculiar Arts, where Penny and Fortunato, the museum’s elderly owner, reside, and where Chance helps out. When the museum is sold, the Bonvillains prepare to move to the suburbs, and Chance, in despair, hatches a plan to run away. Things grow complicated when Fortunato bequeaths Penny to Chance—and more complicated still after he and Penny discover that they can hear each other’s thoughts. When Chance and Penny accidentally switch bodies, the story takes on layers of mystery, introducing a creepy, ageless puppeteer, a host of missing children, and a traveling carnival that becomes key to the fast-paced plot. As her brother’s drama draws him into danger, clever Constance jumps into action to save him, and Penny proves herself a hero, too. The novel’s increasingly complicated intrigue will keep readers speculating right up to the gripping climax. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (July)