by Matt Phelan
Candlewick Press, 2016
The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words "Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL."
Why You'll Love It:
- Phelan punctuates his fittingly noirish palette of smoky, shadowy grays with bursts of pink and red—soft, aqueous patches for cheeks and lips with more saturated tones for apples.
- Phelan masterfully shifts a tale heavily reliant on magic and fantasy into a realistic and historical setting without compromising plausibility.
- Themes of class are also explored here, making this a title worth sharing and studying at multiple levels.
Great for 5th-8th graders...and here's the teacher guide!
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