It’s May 1910, and Halley’s Comet is due to pass thru the Earth’s atmosphere. And thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels and her father are due to pass through their hometown of Chicago with their ragtag vaudeville troupe. Hope wants out of vaudeville, and longs for a “normal” life—or as normal as life can be without her mother, who died five years before. Hope sees an opportunity: She invents “anti-comet” pills to sell to the working-class customers desperate for protection. Soon, she’s joined by a fellow troupe member, young Buster Keaton, and the two of them start to make good money. And just when Hope thinks she has all the answers, she has to decide: What is family? Where is home?
“Tubb deftly ingrains a thoughtful ethical question into the story (is Hope really helping people by assuaging their fears or simply ripping them off?) but never overdoes it in this bouncy tale populated by a terrific cast of characters.” --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“[An] oft-engaging, pleasantly romantic romp through a fascinating time in America’s entertainment history.” --Kirkus Reviews
“Even though readers will anticipate the benign outcome of the fateful date, they’ll find themselves drawn in by the countdown to possible doom and intrigued by Tubb’s subtle examination of the fine line between offering hope and dealing deceit.” --BCCB
“Tubb uses rich historical material well in this clever story… a good show with heroes, villains, and heart.” --School Library Journal