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The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life!
When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past.
In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?
“Canadian railway history, fantasy, a flutter of romance—and a thoughtful examination of social injustice—collide in this entertaining swashbuckler from the author of Printz Honor–winning Airborne” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
hesitation. “Go on, then.” “I don’t feel like disappearing just yet.” When Will grins, one of his eyes closes more than the other. “Can’t do it, can you?” Her eyebrows lift haughtily. “It’s rude to call someone a liar.” “I didn’t call you—” he begins. A distant locomotive gives a blast, and Will stands eagerly. He sees the train, still far away, but it’s coming from the wrong direction. “That’s not your father?” the girl asks. Will shakes his head. “Come see the circus tonight,” she says
snort of rank air into his face. Will staggers and falls. His hands uselessly claw the empty air— And the dark snake hooks around his waist and plunges him through the hole in the boxcar roof. Even as Will hollers, he’s aware of some vast shape in the darkness, and he understands finally that this creature twisted around him is no snake but the trunk of an elephant. A thick layer of straw rustles beneath his feet as he’s set gently down. The trunk releases him, and the tip prods his body
surprise. “That man, he will not come to take it back?” the father asks nervously. “No,” says Maren. The boy looks at the bottle and bursts into tears. “Why is he crying?” Maren asks. “The taste,” says his mother, “he doesn’t like it.” The boy sobs something that sounds like “boat.” “What’s he saying?” Maren asks. “There is a toy, a boat, we leave behind,” the mother says. “And he is sad about this still.” Into Maren’s ear Will whispers, “Ask her what it looks like.” Maren asks, and
completing the full suite. The room bursts into applause, but Mr. Dorian isn’t done yet. He throws his two sets of cards into the air, and they fan out in slow intersecting arcs, shuffling themselves in midair. The ringmaster stands observant, hands uplifted as if conducting them, urging them on as they spiral about one another. “Enough!” he shouts to them, and they cascade back into his hands. He combines them into a single pile and starts to put them back into his trouser pocket. Then he
difficult. She helps pull him over the top. Will looks about, astounded. From the east the first light gilds the wrinkled slopes of the mountains that rise up all around the Boundless. The sky throws an icy cloak around Will, and he shivers. Below him, Mr. Dorian starts to pull himself onto the roof, and falters, his face pinched. Will and Maren kneel, grab hold of an arm each, and haul him over the edge. He nods gratefully, pulling the rope up after him. Will is shocked by how ill Mr. Dorian