COME SEE THE FAIR, by Gavriel Savit, Knopf Books for Young Readers, April 11, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 10 and up)
An orphan finds herself mixed up in magic and mystery at the Chicago’s World Fair in Come See the Fair, by Gavriel Savit.
Twelve-year-old orphan Eva Root travels the country pretending to channel spirits at séances. Her audiences swear their loved ones have spoken to them from beyond the grave. This, of course, is impossible.
But one day, Eva experiences another impossibility: she hears a voice in her head telling her to come to the World’s Fair in Chicago. There, she meets a mysterious magician who needs her help to bring magic to life. But as their work progresses, Eva begins to suspect that the project’s goals may not be as noble as they seem. And when tragedy strikes, Eva will have to reach beyond death itself to unravel the mystery of the magician’s plan — before it’s too late. —Synopsis provided by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Come See the Fair has an interesting premise and starts out strong — so strong, that you really get into a groove. But then it comes to a near stop. As soon as Eva meets the magician, a sort of muddled haze takes over, slowing the action and making you wonder what the heck is actually going on. Unfortunately, this makes it really easy to lose interest
The sad part is that it’s clear Gavriel Savit did a lot of research about the time period and the fair itself. This part of his world-building is top-notch. But the magical elements aren’t well defined, and the characters seem to sort of float along.
Geared toward older middle readers (ages 10 and up) Come See the Fair delves into some darker topics — including kidnapping and death. I’d suggest checking it out from the library prior to purchasing.
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