Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Published by Dial Books

Summary: When Ephraim Tuttle was a boy, he discovered the magical Circus Mirandus, accessible only to those who believe. He showed the Man Who Bends Light a magic trick, and in return the magician promised him a miracle. Ephraim couldn’t think what he wanted, so he saved his miracle all his life. Now he’s dying, and his grandson Micah, who’s grown up on stories of Circus Mirandus, knows it’s time for Grandpa Ephraim to use his miracle. Micah and his new friend Jenny go off in search of the circus and the Man Who Bends Light. There are heroes, villains, stories within the story, and through it all, the power of magic and the imagination. Grades 4-7.

Pros: One of the most highly-touted books of 2015, Circus Mirandus just about lives up to the hype. The best part about it is, it’s a great story. Peopled with endearing characters, it unfolds at just the right pace, with magic and adventure woven throughout. This would make a captivating read-aloud for second grade and up.

Cons: The two main villains, Victoria and Aunt Gertrudis were a little one-dimensional.

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