From School Library Journal
Grade 4–7—Orphaned, 11-year-old Jeremy Cabbage lives at Harpwitch's Home for Mean Dogs, Ugly Cats, and Strey Children, and his only chance to escape the owner's cruelty is to be adopted. Along come Bo and Ba, husband and wife cloons (people with a rare genetic condition that transforms them into clownlike individuals complete with a round red nose, extra-large feet, an outlandish personality, and a penchant for happiness and goodwill), who take him home. Bo and Ba's family and the circus community in which they live are filled with caring, loving people. However, the cloons are outcasts in Metropolis where the intolerant Baron Ignatius von Strompié rules by dictatorial decree and has set his mind on banishing the so-called "flock of freaks." To vex him further, someone continues to spray paint the annoying words "Down with the Baron" around town. But the real trouble begins when the Baron learns that a cloon couple has adopted a normal boy. Suddenly the spotlight turns on Jeremy, and his blissful new life is in danger of being destroyed. This comical story promises to delight while delving into such serious topics as child homelessness and a need for belonging. That being said, it is worth noting that some readers might find the generous doses of flashbacks challenging, and the simple resolution of a deliciously malevolent antagonist is disappointing. The rest of the unique characters make their pieces of the puzzle fun to read.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
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About the Author
David Elliott is the author of several books for young readers, including the Evangeline Mudd
novels and And Here’s to You!,
a New York Times bestselling picture book illustrated by Randy Cecil. He lives in Warner, New Hampshire.