A young woman is haunted by the ghost of her conjoined twin, in Lisa Brown's The Phantom Twin, a sweetly spooky graphic novel set in a turn-of-the-century sideshow.
Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show—until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane's death.
Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that's truly her own?
"In the tradition of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love, Lisa Brown’s The Phantom Twin explores the behind-the-scenes lives of performers in an old-timey circus sideshow, tapping into our fascination—and on some level identification—with these obvious 'outsiders.'" —New York Times
"Brown’s expressive line illustrations effectively serve the story, conveying the early twentieth century setting and particulars of the sideshow, delineating the various characters and their nuanced relationships (particularly between Isabel and the phantom Jane), and driving the plot toward its satisfying conclusion."—Horn Book, starred review
"Fans of Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost will want to get a ticket to this satisfyingly strange tale."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Brown delivers a sensitive, nuanced meditation on ability, agency, belonging, family, and otherness."—School Library Journal, starred review
"[Brown]...incorporates commentary on the mixed experiences of freak performers, always treating this subject with respect. What emerges is a marvelous story marked by tragedy, courage, personal growth, and first love that is as singular as Isabel herself." —Booklist, starred review
“Lovely. A fascinating and heartfelt tale of two sisters, beautifully told, beautifully drawn.” —Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“A ghost story, a story of outsiders and carnivals, of vanity and friendship, innocents and monsters, and the way our loved ones haunt us even after they are gone. Perfectly paced and painfully told, The Phantom Twin will break your heart over and over.” —Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal–winning author of The Graveyard Book
“As strange and lovely as the sideshow it portrays, The Phantom Twin is a unique delight.” —Vera Brosgol, Caldecott Honor–winning author-illustrator of Be Prepared and Anya’s Ghost
“There’s heart and soul visible in every panel of this beautiful book.” —Carson Ellis, Caldecott Honor–winning author-illustrator of Du Iz Tak?
“Skating the line of unsettling and adorable, Brown’s trademark tidy artwork and straightforward, emotional text will make readers wrestle with what it means to be a ‘freak.’ Step right up.” —Daniel Kraus, New York Times–bestselling coauthor of The Shape of Water
“Fascinating and creepy and gorgeous—a ghost story that’s equal parts romance, reckoning with grief, and tale of two sisters. I’m in love.” —Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea