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by Deva Fagan

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-58136-1
Publisher: Harcourt

A plucky orphan runs away to join an intergalactic circus in this frenetic science-fiction/adventure tale.

After bullies at the Bleeker Academy for Girls prevent her from attending a gymnastics competition—and thus becoming an astronaut—and a mysterious man visits her in the middle of the night, 15-year-old Beatrix Ling finds refuge with a space-faring circus. The performers aboard the Big Top are all Tinker-touched, spreading diversity and color where the descendants of the Mandate leave conformity and order. Trix’s suddenly pink hair helps her fit in, but she seems to lack superpowers like her classmates’. Trying to juggle homework—because even spaceships have school—the social scene and her budding affection for the enigmatic Ringmaster, Trix must also protect her parents’ special rock and outrun the villainous Nyl, an agent of the Mandate. The razzle-dazzle of circus life in outer space and the constant action offer plenty of distraction from the sometimes contrived plot, abundant similes and occasionally melodramatic dialogue. Fagan’s (The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle, 2010) vibrant and tactile descriptions make for a cinematic read, and certain elements are reminiscent of such fantasy and science-fiction mainstays as Doctor Who, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Harry Potter.

A book that reaches for the stars and provides a thrilling ride. (Science fiction. 12 & up)