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When the Curtain Rises
By author: Rachel Dunstan Muller
Selling Points: "Magic, mystery, stage fright, ambition"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Mar/01/2007
Pages: 144
Fiction Ages 8-12
Price:  $7.95
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The stage beneath her began to turn, and then suddenly it was not a stage, but a carousel populated by wolves and wild dogs and other dark beasts. They were fixed in place on the carousel, and yet somehow they were alive, roaring and howling as the carousel spun faster and faster through the darkness. The bench she'd been sitting on had become a vicious hound. It yapped and growled as she clung to its black fur in terror.

Chloe McBride has some reservations about accepting her elderly great-aunts' invitation to spend part of the summer with them in Little Venice, but her initial reluctance is outweighed by her curiosity about the mysterious key that came with her aunts' note. She's also anxious to put the humiliating memory of a disastrous piano recital as far behind her as possible. Chloe's great-aunts tell her the legend of her great-grandfather, Dante Magnus, an ambitious magician who vanished without a trace almost a century earlier, and Chloe begins to search for clues to his disappearance. When her investigations eventually lead her to a mysterious rosewood box, which has been hidden for almost a hundred years, Chloe's belief in the power of magic forces her to confront her own fears and ambitions.
VOYA - April 1, 2007
"A mix of fantasy, mystery and teen angst...this recommended purchase for middle school and public libraries is sure to be popular with middle grade readers."
Resource Links - April 1, 2007
"This novel will appeal to young teenage readers...who love to solve mysteries."
The Globe and Mail - March 31, 2007
"A meticulously plotted mystery with supernatural elements...Muller [hits] all the suspense marks with ingenuity and agility."
CM Magazine - February 1, 2007
"Muller creates a very intense plot that is exciting to read...quirky personalities light up the story...The story moves quickly and smoothly and the mystery becomes more intriguing with each passing chapter. Highly recommended."


OLA Best Bets, commended  CA  2008
Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2009
CCBC Best Books , commended  CA  2008
PSLA Top Forty, commended  US  2007

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Middle Reader Fiction

Compelling fiction
for at-level readers

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Compelling stories
Age-appropriate plots

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Accelerated Reader
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