Tallie McGovern is determined to get back to normal after a devastating car accident claimed her brother's life, but just when she might be ready to say goodbye, she's hit with a bombshell: her brother's organs were donated and one of the recipients wants to talk. As Tallie's quest to find the other recipients intensifies, her grip on reality starts to loosen, bringing her to one harrowing moment...
⭐ Barnaby’s elegant, well-paced novel stands out from others examining the death of a loved one both for its understated writing and for its penetrating exploration of the outer limits of grief and guilt....Barnaby beautifully brings Nate to life and movingly portrays the relationship between the siblings through Tallie’s fragmented memories. A deeply affecting depiction of moving on after a great loss.
—Publisher's Weekly, starred review
The grief depicted here is so raw, nuanced, and compelling....Barnaby’s novel is a devastating and powerful look at grief, guilt, and how to survive the aftermath of something that changes who you are. A must-read.
—Teen Librarian Toolbox / SLJ
Barnaby slowly reveals the cracks in Tallie’s emotional veneer through a well-crafted internal monologue. Tallie’s vulnerability shows in her inability to say her brother’s name aloud and in the way she avoids connecting with her family and friends as she struggles to pick up the pieces and move on. A touching depiction of the pain of grief.
Music courses through the story, as song titles head each chapter, and playlists become a sort of therapy for Tallie, while new friendships help keep her afloat. Teens who like realistic fiction with an internal focus won’t be disappointed in this incisive and staid novel about coping with death.
Barnaby’s writing gives us the thrill of a well-plotted hunt along with the joy of smart, funny, and painfully true people trying to get through life’s sorrows and triumphs. Tallie is someone you want to know and follow. A fierce and intelligent portrait of grief.
—Garret Freymann-Weyr, Printz Honor winner for My Heartbeat
Barnaby keeps you rooting for Tallie as she struggles to piece her brother together--and avoid falling apart herself--in this gripping, smart, and often funny novel about loss and recovery.
—Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award winner for Mockingbird
Portia Remini has been left behind over and over again, but this time, she's the one who's leaving. She's had enough of The Home, of being called a wayward girl, of Mister's dastardly deeds. And when her only friend suddenly dies and Portia's guilt weighs too much to bear, she decides it's time to run away.
When she meets up with a traveling sideshow, Portia collides with a world she has never known, a world that few people have seen up close, a world that will change Portia forever.
⭐ Infused with nostalgia and affection, this celebration of the deliberately constructed self will hold readers in its spell from beginning to end. —Kirkus, starred review
Richly textured with psychological tension, complex characterization, a vivid setting, and a suspenseful plot. —School Library Journal
Barnaby skillfully develops her characters, with sinister villain Mister stealing the show. . . . Through skillful description, the dreariness of the Home and the fantastical nature of the carnival world come vividly to life. —The Horn Book
An elegant, lyrical style marks Barnaby’s satisfying debut novel about fate, family, and identity. From the damp, forgotten dorm rooms of the Home to the hot, dusty trail of the circus route, the settings are strikingly evocative, brought to life with vivid imagery and lush prose. —The Bulletin
Barnaby’s portrayal of the sideshow denizens is fascinating. Each, in chapters separate from Portia’s tale, tell stories of their itinerate lives. Sympathetic and fierce, they draw around the “normal” girl and, when push comes to shove, stand up for her. This will appeal to readers looking for something a bit different than most YA fare and who are intrigued by big-top history. —Booklist
Teenage readers will find a refreshing female protagonist in Portia, a quick-witted and resilient heroine who doesn’t find a prince, but does live happily ever after. —Education.com
I felt a cautious thrill after reading the opening of Wonder Show, that it might be what it hinted at: a discovery, a rare bird: a Book You Want To Tell Everyone About. And glory: IT IS. So, Hello Everyone. Read Wonder Show. Pass it on. —Laini Taylor, National Book Award Finalist for Lips Touch Three Times
Portia, the young heroine of this lovely novel, is described by her aunt as having "a generous heart and a wild imagination." The same could be said of the author, and the entire book. I loved it. —Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish
I love this book! Wonder Show is just that -- a shadowy world of wonders and marvels, galore. In the flickering fairground light one senses the shades of Edward Gorey and Chas Addams, standing amidst the rubes, listening to the ballyhoo with quarters in hand! Oh, it is all as darkly delicious as Devil's food cake. —Tim Wynne-Jones, winner of the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Blink & Caution