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Children's LiteratureSeventeen-year-old Abel is the odd one out in his family and his family's business. He lives with his father who has no legs and his mother who has no arms in a village with others with physical oddities. He earns money from curiosity seekers. Abel is determined to have another life, so he runs away to join a circus of all things. When the "fur-faced" boy follows him, Abel is reluctant to let the boy fend on his own. Abel assumes responsibility for him while they work unusual jobs and fend off those who would kidnap the boy for their own nefarious purposes. There is an element of fantasy present, as a mysterious woman comes to Abel, first in his dreams and then in a more tangible form. Readers will fall in love with Abel and sympathize with his quest to be in a normal environment. It is amazing how quickly the seemingly "odd" characters feel normal, but that is the point, after all. They may be "freaks" on the outside but it soon becomes apparent to the reader and Abel that the love and affection they have for one another is what lives on the inside. 2006, Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, Ages 14 up.