Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Story of Cirrus Flux

The Story of Cirrus Flux

Fall 2010 Fiction
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Author: Matthew Skelton
ISBN: 9780385903981
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Cirrus and Pandora are both foundlings, abandoned children at the Foundlings' Home of eighteenth-century London. Each foundling is supposed to have a keepsake left by his or her parents. Pandora's is a square embroidered by her mother with the word "H-O-P-E"-and the memory of her twin brother, who died before Pandora could get him to the Home. Cirrus, as far as he knows, has no keepsake. Nobody wants him, he thinks-not his father, who paid the Home to keep him; not any of the masters and craftsmen who come to the Home looking for apprentices; maybe not even his best friend Bottle Top, who has been taken by a fancy museum owner promising to fix Bottle Top's broken teeth and give him fancy clothes. But once Pandora is given as a servant to the terrifying mesmerist Madame Orrery, she learns that a number of people do want Cirrus. Madame Orrery does, for one, and so do her sinister compatriots in the Guild. One other man is looking for Cirrus: his late father's friend, Felix. All are hoping to find Cirrus's lost keepsake, the "Breath of God" left him by his father. But since Cirrus has run away from the Foundlings' Home, Pandora must do what she can to help Felix find Cirrus before the Guild does.

This story of suspense and intrigue is a fine romp through eighteenth-century London. The period setting is made to seem like a fantastical element rather than like a disguised history lesson; accurate details of Hanging Boys and mesmerism are convincingly rendered without interrupting the rhythm of the narrative. Archetypal orphan heroes Pandora and Cirrus, and the overarching search for Cirrus's father, will make the adventure sympathetic and appealing to a range of young readers.

Naomi Lesley   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

Look for this product at:
Random House Books for Young Readers

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