by Cassie Beasley
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Don’t look for anything magical or special to happen while reading Cassie Beasley’s Circus Mirandus. Instead, look forward to a story on how to deal with losing a love one. Yes, this book with the vivid and whimsical cover is all about death and how to deal with it.
Micah, the main protagonist loves his Grandpa dearly. Loves spending time with him and hearing all the stories he has to tell about the most wonderful place known to man–Circus Mirandus. As with any young child, Micah starts to believe these stories and the magic that is associate with them. Especially with the fact that his beloved grandfather is dying. The whole story is of Micah trying to find this magical and enchanting circus so that The Light Bender can grant his Miracle.
Throw in a villain or two (that is if you include the Aunt) to get in the way of things. Add in the annoying sidekick/new best friend, plus a plethora of odd characters and disjointed flashbacks and there you have it–Circus Mirandus.
While I understand where author Cassie Beasley was going I just think the execution could have been better. There is plenty of potential with this story and where it could have gone but in all honestly I don’t see many middle graders picking up this book. If they do, I have a feeling that they will be disappointed.
Death is a tricky subject to talk about and a rather sad one. There’s enough sadness in the world that I don’t think kids want to read about it even if you throw in a magical and enchanting circus.
With that being said, as an adult I enjoyed this story. I highly recommend this to those that might be in a similar situation that Micah is facing with losing his grandpa. This book would work well if a parent and child were reading it together. As for a child picking it up I really don’t know.
If it was me, I’m looking for adventure that is not bogged down with a gloomy subject. I want the magic and the smiles. The enchantment and whimsical. So when picking up Circus Mirandus keep in mind that it’s not all elephant and cotton candy.
P.S. I was able to read this book thank to Sarah—Theyabooktraveler.blogspot.com. Follow her she’s awesome. This review is based on an arc copy. So things might have changed since then.