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In a series of interwoven fictionalized stories, Deborah Noyes gives voice to the marginalized women in P. T. Barnum’s family — and the talented entertainers he built his entertainment empire on. Much has been written about P. T. Barnum — legendary showman, entrepreneur, marketing genius, and one of the most famous nineteenth-century personalities. For those who lived in Barnum’s shadow, however, life was complex. P. T. Barnum’s two families — his family at home, including his two wives and his daughters, and his family at work, including Little People, a giantess, an opera singer, and many sideshow entertainers — suffered greatly from his cruelty and exploitation. Yet, at the same time, some of his performers, such as General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton), became wealthy celebrities who were admired and feted by presidents and royalty. In this collection of interlinked stories, Deborah Noyes digs deep into what is known about the people in Barnum’s orbit and imagines their personal lives, putting front and center the complicated joy and pain of what it meant to be one of Barnum’s “creatures.”Show more
Patryk and Jurek are as much friends as rivals in the small Russian-occupied Polish village where they live. When, in August 1914, Patryk finds an old button on the forest floor, Jurek becomes wildly jealous. Not long after, World War I comes to Poland, bringing one invading army after another to the village. Jurek devises an exciting dare among the seven boys in their pack: whoever steals the best military button will be Button King. The boys agree. The contest is on. The competition escalates from stealing uniform buttons on a wash line to looting the bodies of dead soldiers to setting up an ambush. Leading the charge is Jurek, who will do anything to be Button King. It's only Patryk who tries to stop Jurek's increasingly dangerous game before it leads to deadly consequences. Master of historical fiction Avi delivers a fierce account of boys in a war-torn village who are determined to prove themselves with a simple dare that blurs the line between a button war and real war. A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTIONShow more
Jimmy is sure that his dog Abby is special. After all, it was Abby who (with the help of Jimmy & friends) helped nab the criminal Barnaby Bratford and shut down Barnaby's babysitting service, a front for robbing the nice folks of Quietville. Jimmy's parents, on the other hand, are starting to feel like Abby is one destructive little dog (she chewed up Mom's entire shoe collection!) and they insist on enrolling Abby in obedience training. The only problem is that the longer Abby's in class, the more normal (read: boring) she becomes. Jimmy's superhero crime-fighting vampire dog is slowly becoming just like every other dog. She doesn't even sneak out at night anymore! At the same time Jimmy's friends (the Crimebiters) are realizing that there's just not very much crime to fight in their tiny town. But when Jimmy joins the lacrosse team & mysterious things start happening on and off the field, the Crimebiters realize that Abby better get back to her crime-fighting ways...and fast!Show more
You're thinking that just because I love crime fighters, vampires, and dogs, I made up the whole thing about having a crime-fighting vampire dog. Well, I didn't. It's all true. This story is so crazy that I don't think ANYBODY could have made it up. Not even Elroy Evans, writer of the greatest vampire books ever, or Stanley Murdock, creator of the greatest police show ever. The truth is that my dog, Abby, totally 1) saved me from my slightly crazy babysitter; 2) helped me become friends with an actual, human girl; and 3) stopped evil criminal masterminds in my very own backyard!Show more
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