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2014 Nominee
Voted 9 out of 20

The Boy in the Box

By Cary Fagan. Published in 2012 by Penguin

Twelve-year-old Sullivan Mintz, whose parents run a retirement home, is kidnapped by an old-fashioned travelling circus known as Master Melville’s Medicine Show after showing off his amateurish juggling act to Melville and his ghostly wife. While inept police are led astray by evidence planted to suggest he had drowned, Sullivan gradually becomes part of the travelling show’s “family” of other kidnapped young performers, experiencing the Master’s manipulation, the Mistress’ wrath, and the other kids’ kindness and jealousy, and culminating in developing and presenting his own act as the “accidental juggler”. 

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