Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights (Hardcover)

By Randall Platt

HarperCollins, 9780062643346, 416pp.

Publication Date: July 23, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (7/23/2019)
MP3 CD (7/23/2019)
Compact Disc (7/23/2019)

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A gripping historical fiction friendship story that will grab everyone by the heartstrings and never let go.

A giant, a dwarf, and three doomed circus animals . . .

By her fourteenth birthday, Babe Killingsworth measures 6ʹ9ʺ and weighs 342 pounds. In 1896, what other options does a giant have but to join a carnival?

Her only real talent is handling animals: “Critters is folks to me.” The cheap outfit her feckless father sells her off to offers critters galore; an escape from Neal, Idaho; and a bit of fame. It also opens the doorway to exploitation and neglect.

But Babe’s love for Euclid (a chimp) and Jupiter (a bear) keeps her anchored, and in Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights, she is among her own kind.

Enter Carlotta Jones, billed as the world’s smallest girl, whose elephant act leaves much to be desired. At thirty inches tall, Carlotta is beautiful, spoiled, and demanding and has very little talent—Egypt, her elephant, dances better than she does.

How can a giant like Babe and a dwarf like Carlotta ever see eye to eye? They don’t at first, but soon they understand that a common enemy can bring anyone together—even a giant and a dwarf.

About the Author

Randall Platt likes to find the story in everything. She tries to wake up every day at four a.m. to write, and on a good day she will write fifteen to twenty-five pages. If she caps it off with a game of handball or a run, it’s a perfect day. She is an award-winning author of fiction for both adults and young adults, and her novels have enlightened readers on topics including the 1918 flu pandemic, life on the home front in World War II, life on an Oregon cattle ranch, and the world of baseball in 1898. She keeps a database of historically accurate slang terms, which allows the voices she uses in her writing to feel authentic. Visit her at, where you can read about her favorite books and her tips for boosting creativity.

Praise For Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights

“A heart-rending and memorable picture of 19th-century challenges for girls with unusual bodies.”
— Kirkus Reviews