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Publisher's Summary

The audiobook is about, among other things: the strongest boy in the world, a talking cockatoo, a faulty mind reader, a beautiful bearded lady and a nervous magician, an old museum, and a shrunken head.

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events.

When the museum's Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts. This sensational new series combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H. C. Chester.

What you will find in this book:

  • A rather attractive bearded lady
  • Several scandalous murders
  • A deliciously disgusting Amazonian shrunken head
  • Four extraordinary children with equally extraordinary abilities
  • A quite loquacious talking bird

What you will NOT find in this book:

  • An accountant named Seymour
  • A never-ending line at the post office
  • Brussels sprouts (shudder)
  • A lecture on finishing all your homework on time
  • A sweet, gooey story for nice little girls and boys

©2015 Laura Schechter (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    6
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    6
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Mix the Circus and a Murder Mystery

Creepy (but not-scary) murder mystery filled with circus-like characters. I wouldn't recommend it for young children, but its an interesting story with an unexpected twist at the end! The narrator was great.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I can't believe I finished it.

normally I adore children adventure stories but for some reason this one was really hard to get into. The overall performance was bland and all the characters sounded alike. aside from that the story was predictable except for the fact that even though these children are supposedly extraordinary and gifted they didn't remotely act like how children would react. I will not be continuing the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

S'ok

Interesting concept but did not hold my attention long. Struggled to finish, but got better at the end...much better.
I purchase 2 for 1 so I will try the next in series but I don't think I'll move beyond that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pretty classic Clue type of story..nothing special

I got this book as part of the Lauren Oliver audiobook sale on Audible. I was excited to read a middle grade series by Oliver; the synopsis sounded interesting and I thought this would be something I would love. In the end it was okay but not great. The story is fairly predictable and very boring at times.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was decent. The narrator does a good job with character voices. However, this wasn’t one I thought was great on audiobook...actually I was pretty ambivalent about it in general.

This is a pretty classic “Clue” type of story. Someone is killed in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum and a group of unusual children try to unravel the mystery of who killed them and why. Initially the increasing number of deaths is blamed on a curse from a shrunken head that’s stolen from the museum. However the story ends up much more convoluted than that.

Our group of extraordinary pre-teens follow the clues through a number of mis-directions to unravel this increasingly deadly mystery. The end game though is fairly predictable given the foreshadowing throughout the book.

For some reason I had trouble engaging with the story. All the characters seemed a bit stereotypical. Additionally the story seemed more like a laying out of facts than an interesting story or mystery. I just didn’t think it was all that interesting or all that well done.

Overall this was an okay middle grade “who done it” type of mystery. There are a couple interesting twists right at the end of the story but for the most part the story is incredibly predictable and boring. I wouldn’t recommend. There are a lot of wonderful middle grade reads out there and this isn’t one of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent enough

Fun, weird little story. Nothing special but kept my attention for most of it. Worth a listen.