Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni, the protagonist in Gwenda Bond’s delightfully captivating and, well, magical novel Girl on a Wire, doesn’t believe in magic any more than you or I. Jules isn’t your average teen, though: she’s an avid fan of 1930s black-and-white movies, and her day job requires her to risk her life as part of a modern traveling circus. Over the course of a few very short weeks during an explosive summer, Jules skyrockets to fame as the girl in a red tutu, dancing along a wire hundreds of feet in the air. But her success stokes old family feuds, and when someone begins secretly placing objects—possibly magical ones—on her costume to jinx her, Jules’s entire world is upended.
The mystery that Gwenda weaves will keep you enchanted, and if you’re at all like me, you’ll fall in love with Jules and her unlikely ally, Remy Garcia. The mystery is engaging, but what I love most about this book is the paper-thin veil obscuring the line between the real and the potentially magical. At first, Jules is reluctant to consider that magic could be at play; but when the tension mounts, she’s forced to reassess.
As the veil wavers like a tightrope, becoming more ephemeral, I get to indulge—for just a few moments, anyway—and truly believe. There’s magic crackling in the air around us, and it makes the world a wonderful place. As for whether Jules must really battle magic...you’ll have to read to find out!
- Courtney Miller, Editor