The Circus Rose

The Circus Rose

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From a New York Times best-selling author, a queer retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” in which teenage twins battle evil religious extremists to save their loves and their circus family. YA fantasy perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Mackenzi Lee, and Laini Taylor.

Twins Rosie and Ivory have grown up at their ringmaster mother’s knee, and after years on the road, they’re returning to Port End, the closest place to home they know. Yet something has changed in the bustling city: fundamentalist flyers paper the walls and preachers fill the squares, warning of shadows falling over the land. The circus prepares a triumphant homecoming show, full of lights and spectacle that could chase away even the darkest shadow. But during Rosie’s tightrope act, disaster strikes.

In this lush, sensuous novel interwoven with themes of social justice and found family, it’s up to Ivory and her magician love—with the help of a dancing bear—to track down an evil priest and save their circus family before it’s too late.

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  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9781328639509

  • ISBN-10: 1328639509

  • Pages: 288

  • Price: $17.99

  • Publication Date: 06/16/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 24

  • Age(s): 12,13,14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 7-12

Betsy Cornwell
Author

Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is the New York Times best-selling author of The Circus Rose,The Forest Queen, Mechanica, Venturess, and Tides. She graduated from Smith College and was a columnist and editor at Teen Ink before receiving an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame, where she also taught fiction. She now lives in Ireland with her family. www.betsycornwell.com Twitter: @Betsy_Cornwell Instagram: @BetsyCornwell
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  • reviews
    ★ "This creative exploration of chosen family, self-knowledge, love, and the tension between opposites is both timely and timeless. Dazzling." —Kirkus, STARRED 

     

    "Cornwell (The Forest Queen) retells 'Snow White and Rose Red,' placing the classic fairy tale against a lushly imagined circus backdrop....the story tackles crucial themes—including the importance of found family and the dangers of religious fundamentalism—while navigating complex familial relationships and delivering a rich atmosphere." —Publishers Weekly  

     

    "This is a delicately lovely reimagining of the fairy tale 'Snow White and Rose Red'....a rich range of queerness."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • excerpts

    Rosie

    And now! 

    Ladies, gentlemen, and Fey!

    Ivory

    Rosie and I are twins, but half sisters. 

          It happened just how you’d guess, of course. Mama loved two men at the same time, and she slept with them both in the same month. 

          When our fathers wanted her to choose between them, she left them both before she even knew that we were coming. 

          We might as well have the same father, though, for all we saw of either of them as children. Two absent fathers are the same as one. 

          But they’re different men, and people do insist on being shocked. 

          Mismatched, half-sister twins are one thing. But our mother also being a bearded lady who had worked in what she lovingly called “the freak circuit” ever since she was a wispy-whiskered lass of fourteen years old? 

          We’re circus through and through, Rosie and I. We never had a chance, not a chance, to be anything else. 

          Rosie’s born to the performer’s life, though, in a way that I never was. I think she always feels a little cold without the heat of a spotlight on her skin. When she walks the tightrope with her arms outstretched, that wide, easy smile on her face, it’s as restorative for her as sunbathing. She floats between trapezes like a mermaid through a sunny sea, without a thought that the air would let her fall. And even when she’s simply dancing . . . oh, she shines. 

          She shines, and the world basks in her light. 

          I stick to the shadows. 

          I switched teams, stepped out of the spotlight, and became a stagehand as soon as I realized I could. Mama, thank goodness, was kind about it. She killed off her double-act dreams without complaint, at least to me, and she asked the stage crew to show me the ropes, in both senses of the phrase. 

          So I got to be behind the spotlight, and Rosie in front. 

          Even then, of course, we shared it.

Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Hardcover

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9781328639509

  • ISBN-10: 1328639509

  • Pages: 288

  • Price: $17.99

  • Publication Date: 06/16/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 24

  • Age(s): 12,13,14,15,16

  • Grade(s): 7-12

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