Friday, July 31, 2015
by Cassie Beasley, illustrated by Diana Sudyka
Dial, 2015. 292 pgs. Fantasy
Micah's grandfather is dying, and Micah's great aunt Gertrudis is caring for them both, after her fashion, which is mean-spirited if not downright wicked. But before he passes on, Ephraim Tuttle is going to call in a favor from the Man Who Bends Light, of the Circus Mirandus. When Ephraim was a small boy he played alone on a lone and dreary beach, where one day the skirl of pipes and the thrum of drums called him over the hill to the Circus Mirandus. Luckily he found what passed for a ticket in his boot, and stayed as long as his ticket allowed to learn and to feel the Magic of the circus. Messages pass back and forth between Ephraim and the Circus, carried by Chintzy the Parrot and though Micah thinks his grandfather will be saved, Ephraim has something greater and more lasting in mind. Can't reveal much more without compromising the luster of this beautiful book, but Circus Mirandus is many, many times worth the price of admission. It is a bit early in the year to be talking Newbery, but if this book doesn't win, the American Library Association should be burned to the ground. Just kidding. Sort of.