Thursday, June 25, 2015

Circus Mirandus

Oh boy, did I ever love this book.  It's been hitting some of the lists of new great books that I look at and I had a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble that was burning a hole in my pocket so I picked it up.  We've been traveling and pretty busy, but we took a little car trip this week to Provence, which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from my sister's house, where we are vacationing.  The drive is not particularly interesting so I opened the book when we hit the highway and didn't really put it down until I was finished.  I laughed, I cried, and then I put the book in my mom's hands and she finished today with the same kind of reviews.

The book has a great beginning "Four small words.  That was all it took to set things into motion."  Isn't that awesome?  How could you not keep reading?  The writing in this book is terrific.  Such evocative language!  The characters are super interesting.  The main character is a boy named Micah who has been living with his grandfather.  His parents died in an accident when he was quite small and although that was bad, his grandfather is so wonderful, that it has been ok.  Until now.  the grandfather is quite sick and things don't look too good.  The grandfather's sister comes to help out but she is quite unpleasant (think of the aunts from James and the Giant Peach or maybe Count Olaf from the Series of Unfortunate Events) and things are looking pretty bleak for Micah.  However, he has two things that seem to be working in his favor.  One is that he is becoming friends with the smartest girl in his class, Jenny and his grandfather has requested a miracle from the Lightbender in the Circus Mirandus.  There are some great flashbacks for some of the backstory and the story unfolds in such a great way, it leaves you (well, it did me) guessing until the very end what the grandfather's miracle might be.

This book has really big themes of love and magic and loyalty and friendship.  And did I mention how great the writing was?  The writing is awesome.  I didn't want it to be over.

Here is Cassie Beasley, the author, reading a bit of the amazing "Circus Mirandus"

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