Too old to take part in the annual children’s opera, seventeen-year-old Doll Jacobs makes a place for herself as a junior member of the “opera mafia” who run the show. There are always exactly one hundred children’s roles, but an exception is made for Juan O’Grady, the son of the ambassador from a small South American country, Matteo. When Mattean terrorists attempt to kidnap him, Juan is hidden amongst the other children and a tense standoff unfolds as the terrorists hold the cast and crew hostage and search for him. Dickinson’s philosophical investigation of whether we can defend “art for art’s sake” is also a taut thriller that will hold readers of all ages to the very end.
Phoenix Award Winner from the Children’s Literature Association.
“This steady, sober hostage story is not quite a thriller . . . but anyone . . . can be engaged by the argument and enveloped in Dickinson’s carefully textured citadel.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Peter Dickinson’s children’s books:
“One of the real masters of children’s literature.”—Philip Pullman
“Peter Dickinson is a national treasure.”—The Guardian
“Magnificent. Peter Dickinson is the past-master story-teller of our day.”—Times Literary Supplement
Peter Dickinson is the author of over fifty books including Eva, Earth and Air, and Michael L. Printz honor book The Ropemaker. He has twice received the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger as well as the Guardian Award and Whitbread Prize. He lives in England and is married to the novelist Robin McKinley.