The Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby
The year is 1939. 14-year-old Portia Remini was abandoned by her family at McGreavey's Home for Wayward Girls, but she runs away when her best friend dies tragically. Through a series of accidents and coincidences, Portia ends up working as a cook in Mosco's Traveling Wonder Show. There, Portia meets and befriends the Wild Albinos, the Fat Lady, the Bearded Lady, the Strong Man and the other freaks, and tries to find her own place among them while looking for the father who has been missing for many years.
Circus and sideshow history and jargon intermingle with the tale of a girl who collects stories and seeks the truth among people whose livelihoods depend on falsehood and misdirection. Some cussing. No kissing or sex, but there are tactful descriptions of the "blowoff" part of the show where the conjoined twins dance naked for a crowd of rubes.
Ages 12 to 18.