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“The novel’s wistful prose and a relatable search for the Light will be rewarding for readers who can see in the Smoke any number of metaphors for the things that haunt us.” —BCCB (starred review)
“A Wrinkle in Time-inspired adventure…Halbrook’s writing is artful.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In K.D. Halbrook’s gorgeous prose, readers will be drawn immediately into the Cirque, but more importantly, they’ll be drawn into Sasha’s heart. This is a story to savor.” —Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor–winning author of The Underneath and Keeper
“Adventure and magic unfold in this captivating story.” —School Library Connection
“A fairy-tale atmosphere wafts through Halbrook’s story of magic, love, belonging, and circus...Enchanting.” —Booklist
Circus Mirandus meets Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms in this beautifully written 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’s not so sure she wants to be a Cirque kid. She starts to question her home and her Cirque family. Is the magic real? Are the stories even true? As the bullying by the Island kids gets worse, 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 has wished 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?