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Spell & Spindle

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Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms as a boy trades bodies with a wooden marionette. The Museum of Peculiar Arts holds many oddities--a mechanical heart, a diary bound in its owner's skin . . . and Penny, a child-size marionette who almost looks alive. Fog clouds Penny's memories from before the museum, but she catches glimpses here and there: a stage, deep red curtains, Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms as a boy trades bodies with a wooden marionette. The Museum of Peculiar Arts holds many oddities--a mechanical heart, a diary bound in its owner's skin . . . and Penny, a child-size marionette who almost looks alive. Fog clouds Penny's memories from before the museum, but she catches glimpses here and there: a stage, deep red curtains, long-fingered hands gripping her strings. One day, a boy named Chance touches Penny's strings and hears her voice in his head. Penny can listen, and watch, and think? Now someone else is watching Penny and Chance--a man with a sharp face, a puppeteer who has the tools to change things. A string through a needle. A twist of a spindle. And suddenly Chance is trapped in Penny's marionette body, while Penny is free to run and dance. She knows that finding a way to switch back is the right thing to do. But this body feels so wonderful, so full of life! How can Penny ever return to her puppet shell?


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Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms as a boy trades bodies with a wooden marionette. The Museum of Peculiar Arts holds many oddities--a mechanical heart, a diary bound in its owner's skin . . . and Penny, a child-size marionette who almost looks alive. Fog clouds Penny's memories from before the museum, but she catches glimpses here and there: a stage, deep red curtains, Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms as a boy trades bodies with a wooden marionette. The Museum of Peculiar Arts holds many oddities--a mechanical heart, a diary bound in its owner's skin . . . and Penny, a child-size marionette who almost looks alive. Fog clouds Penny's memories from before the museum, but she catches glimpses here and there: a stage, deep red curtains, long-fingered hands gripping her strings. One day, a boy named Chance touches Penny's strings and hears her voice in his head. Penny can listen, and watch, and think? Now someone else is watching Penny and Chance--a man with a sharp face, a puppeteer who has the tools to change things. A string through a needle. A twist of a spindle. And suddenly Chance is trapped in Penny's marionette body, while Penny is free to run and dance. She knows that finding a way to switch back is the right thing to do. But this body feels so wonderful, so full of life! How can Penny ever return to her puppet shell?

42 review for Spell & Spindle

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    A BIG Thank You to Netgalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for providing me a copy of “Spell and Spindle” by Michelle Schusterman in exchange for my review. The main highlight of this story for me was the characters how the author realistically portrays them. I especially adored how the author made Penny more three dimensional, even though she is only supposed to be a marionette in theory. Though Penny is supposed to be good and heroic, she also makes mistakes, gets scared, and runs aw A BIG Thank You to Netgalley and Random House Books for Young Readers for providing me a copy of “Spell and Spindle” by Michelle Schusterman in exchange for my review. The main highlight of this story for me was the characters how the author realistically portrays them. I especially adored how the author made Penny more three dimensional, even though she is only supposed to be a marionette in theory. Though Penny is supposed to be good and heroic, she also makes mistakes, gets scared, and runs away from problems rather than facing them. I loved seeing all these facets in our protagonist, which is very rare in middle grade novels. Another reason why this book was fun was because the author did not stereotype the genders. Penny and Constance are the main brave heroes in this story. Chance is brave at times too, but we also see a vulnerable side to him and he comes across as the damsel in distress here. The only trouble I had with this “Spell and Spindle” was the villain. Considering how wonderful it was to read about the good guys, I found the villain to be very two dimensional in the mustache-twirling way. I also had trouble understanding the reasons for doing what he did as it didn’t seem very convincing. Apart from that though, I truly enjoyed this story. I really liked Michelle Schusterman's style of writing, and would love to pick up some of her other novels. I also found the illustrations by Kathrin Honesta to be cute on each chapter. Also, I loved that each chapter ends in a serialized cliff-hanger and I found myself turning pages to find out what happened next! Spell and Spindle is definitely one of those books that boys and girls would enjoy reading as it has a lot of mystery, adventure and drama in it. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot too and can’t wait to re-read it once it hits the bookstores.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley and Random House for Children in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. "I just don't think its fair that boys with magic are written as exceptionally smart, but girls with magic are written as exceptionally mean." Chance works for Fortunato, a museum owner of all kinds of oddities. When Chance's parents decide to move away, Fortunato gifts his life sized marionette doll to Chance. Chance quickly finds out that if he touches Penny' I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley and Random House for Children in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. "I just don't think its fair that boys with magic are written as exceptionally smart, but girls with magic are written as exceptionally mean." Chance works for Fortunato, a museum owner of all kinds of oddities. When Chance's parents decide to move away, Fortunato gifts his life sized marionette doll to Chance. Chance quickly finds out that if he touches Penny's strings he can hear her talk! Over the course of a week, Chance and Penny grow close as he tries to master being a puppeteer so they can run away together to the circus. One day Chance and Penny swap bodies! They figure out why/how it happened and have to get to the circus to put them back into their rightful bodies. Ahh, this book needed to be so much longer, and for YA! I really loved the description of this book, I read it and immediately had to have it. I wasn't disappointed overall either. While I did rate this book 5 stars, I still had my minor gripes with it. For one it wasn't long enough. I know, I know, its a middle grade book and they're supposed to be short, sweet, and to the point; but I needed MORE! Two, the book is marked as horror on Goodreads, not scary at all. Not even in the slightest. It has vibes of being slightly thrilling, but honestly not enough. It could have been a bit more creepy without going over the line for a childrens book. I loved the ending so much, I thought at first I was going to be disappointed and pissed at the direction it was going, but I wasn't! Yay! Oh, almost forgot. I absolutely adored that the author made Constance have more dimension to her character than previously thought. She didn't fit your typical 1950's little girl, she liked reading books that weren't predictable, and weren't all about damsels and witches. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone :)

  3. 3 out of 5

    Laurie

    Interest Level: 3-6 What would you do if you were given a marionette doll and one day you touched her strings and you heard her thoughts? How freaked out would you be? Penny has spent so many years on the shelf in the museum watching all that goes on. Chance works in the museum helping Fortunato, an elderly man who inherited the museum from the cabinetmaker who was his teacher. When Fortunato is forced to sell the museum he gives Chance the life-sized marionette doll, Penny. When Chance touches P Interest Level: 3-6 What would you do if you were given a marionette doll and one day you touched her strings and you heard her thoughts? How freaked out would you be? Penny has spent so many years on the shelf in the museum watching all that goes on. Chance works in the museum helping Fortunato, an elderly man who inherited the museum from the cabinetmaker who was his teacher. When Fortunato is forced to sell the museum he gives Chance the life-sized marionette doll, Penny. When Chance touches Penny's strings they are able to communicate through their minds. What they don't know is an evil man is watching them and creates an opportunity for Chance and Penny to swap places. Penny is so excited to be in a human body, but not at the expense of Chance's soul. As Penny is trying to find a way to swap them back, Chance is stolen and now Penny doesn't know what to do. Chance's sister, Constance, steps in and is determined to save her brother. What she doesn't expect is to become friends with Penny. Will Penny and Constance be able to find Chance and swap back? Will Penny decide that she wants to keep the human body and leave Chance frozen in the wooden body? What about the evil man? Will he do whatever it takes to keep his marionette, even if it means death? This is a must read that you will not be able to put down until the end. Follow me: Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.weebly.com/ Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra... Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr... Twitter - https://twitter.com/lauriepurser27 Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1... Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Netgalley I really enjoyed this, especially the time period setting and the fact that the main character's family was moving from the city to a new suburb in the 1950s. Nicely creepy, but my students won't pick up creepy doll (or in this case, marionette) books very often, the one exception being Hahn's Took. (She has a huge fan base in my library.) I don't think I'll purchase, but if creepy doll books do well at your library, definitely take a look!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Haunting and edge-of-my-seat suspense. I wanted to know how it ended and just kept reading. I went to an author event in Milwaukee, WI on June 9th and was able to get ARC version of the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  7. 3 out of 5

    Laura Phelps

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rosandra

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maria Wang

  10. 3 out of 5

    Margie aka The Bumble Girl

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Quinn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  13. 3 out of 5

    Alec

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lupita

  15. 3 out of 5

    Caroline

  16. 5 out of 5

    MNB18

  17. 3 out of 5

    Matthew Ramos

  18. 3 out of 5

    ACPL Monica

  19. 3 out of 5

    Martha

  20. 3 out of 5

    Brigit Young

  21. 5 out of 5

    YAYOMG

  22. 3 out of 5

    Jenna Friebel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wayong

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jillian (PidginPea's Book Nook)

  29. 3 out of 5

    Genielysse Reyes

  30. 3 out of 5

    Bushra

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Isidora

  33. 3 out of 5

    Charlotte

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  36. 3 out of 5

    Noa

  37. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

  39. 5 out of 5

    Jaina Rose

  40. 3 out of 5

    Karly-Lynne

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

  42. 3 out of 5

    Mei-Ling

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