- US Edition
Spell and Spindle
Doll Bones meets Splendors and Glooms in this masterful examination of sacrifice and sibling love.
Penny is a life-size, life-like marionette who has sat for years on a shelf at the Museum of Peculiar Arts. Chance is a boy who helps out at the museum and talks to Penny as he dusts and sweeps. Then one day, Chance touches Penny’s strings and hears her voice in his head. Penny can listen, and watch, and think?
But someone else is watching Penny and Chance–a man with a sharp face, a puppeteer who has the tools to change things. A string through a needle. A twist of a spindle. And suddenly, Chance is trapped in Penny’s marionette body, while Penny is free to run and dance. She knows that the right thing to do is to find a way to switch back. But this body feels so wonderful, so alive! How can she ever return to her puppet shell?
USA/Canada: Random House (Summer 2018)
Starred Review from Kirkus
“The beautifully creepy plot deftly weaves together old-time-y fears with fresh outlooks through richly realized characters who feel immediate and modern despite the 1952 setting. Especially well done is the approach to gender, as Chance, Penny, and Constance all struggle with different realities of embodiment and expression without resorting to cheap sentiment or heavy-handedness. An excellent melding of horror and heart, this complex story will appeal to a wide range of readers.”
Michelle is building a strong portfolio as the author of wide-ranging stories for young people. Her series include I HEART BAND and THE KAT SINCLAIR FILES (Grosset), and her standalone novels comprise OLIVE AND THE BACKSTAGE GHOST and MARIONETTE (Random House). In addition she has co-written UNCONVENTIONAL, a novel about fandom of all kinds, which will publish with Scholastic.
She is also a musician who has played steel drums for several bands over recent years, and has recorded four CDs in addition to countless live performances.