Circus Mirandus (★★★★★)

circus mirandus beasley Circus Mirandus, by Cassie Beasley, is the story of a sweet, intelligent boy named Micah who must go to extraordinary lengths to try to save his grandfather. Micah has lived with good-natured and imaginative Grandpa Ephraim since his parents died when he was four, and the two have a very special relationship. Micah loves hearing all of Grandpa Ephraim’s stories, especially Grandpa’s stories about the magical circus he was able to attend when he was a young boy. Over the course of the book, Micah must decide if he believes in this magical circus from his grandfather’s past—and then if he trusts anyone from the circus to keep his grandpa alive. The book reminds me a lot of the movie Big Fish. It’s sweet and magical and playful. (There are even quirky but captivating illustrations scattered throughout that remind me of that movie.) The story is so creative, the characters both believable and outlandish. I loved seeing Micah develop a strong friendship with his bookish classmate Jenny. But I also enjoyed seeing him go his own way and follow his instincts, even when no one else was necessarily on his side. I think most children would love this book, especially if they love Harry Potter or Mathilda. My only gripe is that the ending fell a bit short. It wasn’t that it was bad, because it wasn’t. But it definitely didn’t end up where I thought it was going to, and I thought it could have been stronger. Regardless, I loved the story, overall. I was engaged from the first page to the last, and I would definitely recommend Circus Mirandus to kids and adults alike.

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