Splendors and Glooms

11 Oct

Splendors and Glooms coverI’ve seen a number of reviews about this book and they piqued my curiousity because it seemed like from what I read people either really enjoyed the story or were not a fan.  I could find very few reviews of the story that were in-between the two extremes.  So I was interested in the story before I even picked it up and let me tell you the cover is definitely eye-catching.  I’m not a big fan of puppets, ventriloquists and the like but when you see a hand controlling two child-like characters on marionette strings, it definiltey grabbed my attention.

Splendors and Glooms written by Laura Amy Schlitz was a beautifully written story about a young girl who becomes fascinated by master puppeteer and invites him to perform at her birthday party.  When the young girl vanishes that evening, all eyes are focused on the puppeteer and his two wards.  While the two children puzzle over the young girl’s disappearance, they become embroiled in the puppeteer’s past – full of dark magic and a curse.

The story is beautifully written and characters and setting are so real, you can imagine being in Victorian London.  The story itself is also well-told with beautiful vocabulary that can paint amazing pictures in your mind.  I felt the story was a little long though and there were parts where the detailed description, I felt, was unnecessary.  Overall, a beautiful read for grades 4 and up.

Laura Amy Schlitz won the 2008 Newbery Award for her book Good Masters!  Sweet Ladies!  Voices from a Medieval Village.  I was unable to find her website, but you can access some information about her from the Candlewick Press Authors  & Illustrators webpage.

Title: Splendors and Glooms
Author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2012
Page Number: 400 pgs.

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