Publisher: Chicken House

Kieran Larwood won The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2011 for this lively Victorian adventure story.

Part girl, part wolf, Sheba lives a lonely life as the star attraction in a dingy seaside sideshow until she is bought by Mr Plumpscuttle and comes to London to join Plumpscuttle's Peculiars, a gang of performing misfits. Here, she meets Sister Moon, a powerful ex-assassin; the colossal Gigantus; Mama Rat with her incredible band of performing rats; and the simply disgusting Monkey Boy. But the together with her new friends, Sheba has more important things to do than performing in Plumpscuttle's show - she must solve the mystery of why children are disappearing from the banks of the Thames.

Set in a grimy, gothic Victorian London of grave-robbers and child-snatchers, with a hint of steampunk, this action-packed story makes for an atmospheric and exciting read.

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