Twelve-year-old Spartacus Zander isn’t looking for trouble. He just wants people to call him by his middle name and for his family to be normal. But it’s not so easy when you live in a small town with a bullying brother and gruff, hard-hearted father—oh, and an adoring yet hugely eccentric Human-Cannonball mother. And when his mom gets kidnapped by Bartholomew’s World-Renowned Circus of the Incredible and no one believes it? Yeah. That throws a wrench into things.
It’s up to Spartacus to be the hero. And he definitely doesn’t want to be the hero.
Armed with clues from his mom’s postcards and the internet-wizardry of his best friend, Eli, Spartacus sets off on a zany rescue mission to save his mom. Between destroying small town libraries, diving from slow-moving vehicles, and running from cops (of the local and clown variety), Spartacus hobnobs with felons and goths, sideshow folk and lemurs and dangerous old ladies. And as the stories about The Incredible get stranger (and Spart’s enemies get weirder), he realizes the truth: The only way to bring his family back together is to bring the big top down, once and for all.
“As an author, there’s a moment when noble emotions such as “admiration” and “respect” for a fellow scribe cross over into outright, green-eyed jealousy. And, about midway through reading Molly Elwood’s page-turning novel, Spartacus Ryan Zander and the Secrets of the Incredible, my appreciation for her quirky, breezy style quickly gave way to wanton prose-envy of the worst kind. Elwood leads you, circuitously, to the inevitable big showdown at the Big Top. I’m a better person for every mile spent with Spartacus on his darkly comic road trip.”
– Dale E. Basye, author of the series, Heck, Where the Bad Kids Go
“An eccentric kidnapped mother, a malefic circus, and more evil clowns than on a clear Halloween night. Spartacus Ryan Zander and the Secrets of the Incredible is fast and furiously fun.”
– Gary Ghislain, author of How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend and
The Goolz Next Door series
“I couldn’t put it down. Literally. Never pick up a book while eating a caramel apple. But if you are going to be stuck with the book for a few days, I advise you make it Spartacus Ryan Zander and the Secrets of the Incredible.”
– Gerry Swallow, author of Blue in the Face: A Story of Risk, Rhyme, and Rebellion