Winner of the Waverton Good Read Children's Prize 2014! Under cover of darkness a carnival arrives on the green in the centre of Dunbridge. By morning, Grace and her friends are stunned to find the huge red and white-striped tent, surrounded by fair rides and carnival folk jostling for business. But everything about the fair seems very old - the ferris wheel is rusted and creaking, the colours of the tent have dulled with age, and even the performers costumes are tattered and old-fashioned. Fascinated by the show, the girls befriend two young carnies; The Bearded Ballerina, a petite girl with soft hair on her face, who dances and performs aerial acts for the main show; and The Lizard Boy, a contortionist with unusual skin. They do their best to avoid the troupe of Melancholy Clowns - silent performers that don’t make friends, but seem to follow the girls everywhere they go - and enjoy spending more and more time on Dunbridge Green. However the carnival holds a dark secret; a curse that has kept them frozen in their current state for decades, doomed to travel the world searching for some unfortunate souls on whom they can unload the hex. But the curse can only be passed on to those who take it willingly. The girls unwittingly accept this gift from their new friends, bringing it to Mrs Quinlan’s house. Unnerved by the object, Mrs Quinlan demands that they leave it with her until she can work out what it is. When the girls return the next day, the Cat Lady is nowhere to be found, but they hear her behind doors in the house that vanish and reappear. With help from Ms Lemon, the girls discover what the curse is and how to break it. Although they eventually free Mrs Quinlan from the grip of the hex, she remains trapped inside the house, like a poltergeist that moves objects and speaks through walls. Grace and the others are devastated at first, but Ms Lemon moves in to take over the care of Delilah, and everyone begins to come around to the talking, living house that is Mrs Quinlan.