cover image Circus Mirandus

Circus Mirandus

Cassie Beasley. Dial, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-42843-5

Knot-tying fifth grader Micah Tuttle has grown up on his grandfather’s stories of the magical Circus Mirandus, but when Grandpa Ephraim gets sick, the parentless Micah learns just how much power there can be in illusion. Beasley’s debut is a bit of its own three-ring circus, masterfully diverting readers’ attention among the pressing matter of Ephraim’s illness, the inventive descriptions of Circus Mirandus in Ephraim’s flashbacks and Micah’s visits, and the larger, more serious tragedy of those who refuse to believe. As Micah and his fact-loving friend, Jenny, search for a miracle to save his grandfather, the Lightbender and the rest of the acts at the circus fight “to keep enchantment alive in the world” while protecting children from the darker side of magic. From the seemingly small magic of Micah’s knot tricks to the life-changing illusions created by the Lightbender, readers will be left with the reminder that “just because a magic is small doesn’t mean it is unimportant” and the hope, reminiscent of Peter Pan, that those who still believe will always have magic in their lives. Ages 9–12. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (June)