‘Wonder Show’ a years-long labor for author

BC grad’s young adult novel all about seeking and giving, understanding

— When Portia first arrives at the carnival she is considered an outsider in a room full of “freaks.” Barnaby said she used the reversal to call attention to the fact how each of us will always be viewed as different depending on where we are in life.

Barnaby said when she began the book, her own experiences in middle and high school were still very fresh in her mind.

“I think the same thing is true for many young adult writers, which is why we write for them,” said Barnaby. “We have an affinity for that stage of life and that age group.”

The Delmar native said one of the most challenging and satisfying scenes to write is Portia’s first time leading customers through the freak show tent.

“I consider it an important moment because it is the first time she is seeing other people stare at the people who have become her family. … It’s the difference between staring at someone as a stranger and seeing someone for who they are,” said Barnaby.

The author said the main message of “Wonder Show” is about encouraging readers of all ages to search out the people who understand them.

“And sometimes, people help you to understand yourself in a way you couldn’t,” she added.

Barnaby will be at The Book House in Stuyvesant Plaza on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. for a reading and book signing. Books will be available for purchase at the event, or can be ordered through any independent bookstore.

To learn more, visit hannahbarnaby.com.

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