Excellent, Intermediate, Lauren Oliver, H.C. Chester, Mystery, Murder, Performers, Magic
Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders as some of the freaks. Philippa can read people’s minds. Sam is unnaturally strong. Thomas can contort his body in ways that no one else can. Even though the museum isn’t financially successful, they are happy there. One day, another child, Max, joins the group as a knife thrower, and life changes for all of them. The museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, and people involved with the disappearance keep getting murdered. When their father figure, Mr. Dumfrey, is accused of the murders, Philippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max decide to solve the mystery themselves to save Mr. Dumfrey and the museum. The stakes increase when an attention-hungry reporter keeps writing newspaper articles that are not true and the children are attacked more than once. In the end, they find some answers to their own pasts when they solve the mystery.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Curiosity House #1: The Shrunken Head,"
Children's Book and Media Review: Vol. 36:
6, Article 18.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cbmr/vol36/iss6/18