★ “This novel will be savored.” —School Library Journal
“Those readers who like their adventures with heavy doses of plot twists and tomfoolery will be smitten.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Pirates carouse, boilers explode, gamblers swindle, and Cissy and company meet each encounter with equal parts luck and pluck. McCaughrean invests her characters with humanity and shows a farcical sense for dialogue, while her arch narrative voice, with its theatrical vocabulary and clever turns of phrase, is a delight.” —Booklist
HarperCollins; Reprint edition / 2011
Ever since the magnificent Miss Loucien gave up teaching to join the Bright Lights Theater Company, school days have lacked a certain . . . drama . . . especially for Cissy, who longs for a life in show business, and Kookie, who craves adventure. But when a diphtheria outbreak interrupts the dull routine, Cissy and Kookie are evacuated to the doubtful safety of the Bright Lights’ summer home—a shipwrecked paddle steamer on the flooded Missouri River.
Thus begins a wild and unpredictable journey downstream serving up grand performances, aggrieved river gamblers, irate lawmen, and perilous races. And when at long last Cissy steps into the limelight, the stakes are higher than she ever imagined.
Renowned storyteller Geraldine McCaughrean weaves a rip-roaring adventure in this funny tale that’s chock-full of humor and heart.