Spell & Spindle

Michelle Schusterman (Author) Kathrin Honesta (Illustrator)


Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms as a boy who 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?

Product Details

Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
July 31, 2018
5.6 X 1.0 X 8.4 inches | 0.95 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Michelle Schusterman lives in a monstrous city filled with ghosts, some of whom she allows to creep into her stories. She is the author of Olive and the Backstage Ghost, I Heart Band (a Scholastic Reading Club pick), and The Kat Sinclair Files. She's also an instructor at Writopia Lab, a nonprofit organization that offers creative-writing workshops for children and teens from all backgrounds. Find out more at michelleschusterman.com and follow her on Instagram: @michelleschusterman.


"An excellent melding of horror and heart, this complex story will appeal to a wide range of readers."--Kirkus, starred review

"An old-fashioned touch of the peculiar." --Booklist

"A dark and spine-tingling tale for fans of "Goosebumps" looking for something a bit longer and more nuanced." --School Library Journal

Praise for Olive and the Backstage Ghost

"A haunting and ethereal tale in the vein of Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord (2002). Nods to Edgar Allan Poe make it atmospheric, and Olive herself, a lonely heroine with ghosts in her past, gives it soul." --Booklist, Starred review

"This dark, grief-filled tale is reminiscent of Stephen King's It with a dash of Cirque du Soleil." --Kirkus Reviews

"Schusterman's language is haunting and elegant, filling the narrative with prose poems that float like ghosts themselves." --School Library Journal