Sasha has always loved the Cirque, a place filled with sequined costumes, dazzling spotlights, and magnificent tents. But when she starts fifth grade with the Islanders—the ordinary folk from the other side of the Island—for the first time, she starts to question her home and her Cirque family. Is the magic real? Are the stories even true? Faced with the Island kids’ bullying and scorn, Sasha isn’t so sure she wants to be a Cirque kid anymore, and the swirling, blue-gray Smoke appears.