Magical Mystery Tour

The stage and screen designer Juman Malouf brings her talent for conjuring the dark and whimsical to her debut young adult novel, The Trilogy of Two (Penguin Random House). Growing up as circus performers in the dreary Outskirts of Rain City (think Charles Dickens meets Fritz Lang), 12-year-old orphaned twins Charlotte and Sonja embark on a journey to recapture their extraordinary musical talents, which were stolen by the evil trickster Kats von Stralen. The sisters discover the Seven Edens enchanted lands on their quest, where they hope to uncover the secrets of their origins. Just as Malouf did in creating the visual landscape of beau Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, here she does it again, rendering every character in wonderfully moody and evocative pencil drawings. Filled with stray creatures of all kinds and nods to the occult, the author’s morose tale will comfort clever children of the same stripe.