Shoestring: The Boy Who Walks on Air

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Shoestring is a marvel on the tightrope. Once upon a time, he was a thief, but now he's performing in the Troupe of Marvels alongside Sophie Quickfingers, a violinist, KidGlovz, a famous child pianist and Aldo Grimwade, an ex-bodyguard-turned-drummer.

When the troupe go on tour with some other young performers, Shoestring becomes haunted by the white gloves that once bedevilled his friend KidGlovz. With the gloves, Shoestring can seemingly have whatever he wants - but at what price?

A follow-up story to Hunt and Newman's award-winning KidGlovz, this detailed fantasy is told as much with Newman's remarkable pencil drawings throughout. It's not exactly a graphic novel, perhaps, as much as a highly illustrated one, but the art means that although the book is quite long, it's still an average length read for older primary and younger secondary age children.

The pages brim with magic, and there's an enjoyable level of threat with a shadowy thrill that younger fans of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights will definitely enjoy.

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