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Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
There was so much buzz going around in the children’s book publishing world about this particular novel that I just couldn’t resist picking it up. A five publisher bidding war, a movie rights deal (before publication), and two starred reviews, from both School Library Journal and Kirkus, were enough to pique my interest. What makes all of this even more impressive is that it’s the debut novel of author Cassie Beasley.
Circus Mirandus is the name of the magical circus that Micah Tuttle’s grandfather, Ephraim, has been telling stories about for years. He visited there as a boy and what he witnessed astonished and enchanted him. One of the most impactful experiences Ephraim encountered was meeting the Lightbender. He was the great magician who had the ability to transport children to any time or place that they could imagine. It turns out that the Lightbender promised Ephraim a miracle and the time has come that he wants to redeem it. Will Micah be able to get that miracle for his sick grandfather before it’s too late? The first obstacle for Micah is actually getting into Circus Mirandus. The thing is… you have to believe it to see it. Sure enough, Micah has what it takes to get into the circus and begins his quest of discovery to try and save his ailing grandfather.
Although books with heavy fantastical themes are not my preferred genre, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. There was a great balance between reality and fantasy with an unexpected and touching ending. Fans of realistic fiction will appreciate the themes of love and friendship that drive the plot and fantasy lovers will appreciate the original story idea.
Fans of audio books will not be let down by the audio version, which is narrated by Bronson Pinchot.
Recommended for ages 9-12.
Mary Souriolle loves leading storytime, championing STEM education, chaperoning teddy bear sleepovers, and recommending great books in Youth Services. If you have suggestions for something that should be included in a future blog post, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org