Rated Reads

Circus Mirandus

by Cassie Beasley

Rated: None

For all of his 10 years of life, Micah Tuttle has been hearing his Grandpa Ephraim’s stories about his visit to Circus Mirandus when he was a boy. The circus held wonders that were awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, flat-out amazing. They were simply magical. But they didn’t just seem magical: they were magic.

But now Micah’s grandpa is dying, and since his parents died when he was only 4, the only person left to take care of him is Grandpa Ephraim’s mean, utterly unimaginative sister, Aunt Gertrudis. She is bustling around their house managing everything and keeping Micah from “bothering” his grandfather. She is particularly affronted by his grandpa’s silly, ridiculous stories. Now Grandpa Ephraim tells Micah that the stories are all true. And, what’s more, he’s sent a letter to the Man Who Bends Light, who years earlier had promised Ephraim a miracle. Now he urgently needs that miracle.

Micah has just made a new friend at school, Jenny Mendoza, and the two end up getting to go to the circus. Micah is just as in awe at the wonders of Circus Mirandus as his grandfather had been. Jenny, however, isn’t typically the kind of child who even gets to see this particular circus: she doesn’t believe in magic at all. She is sure everything has a rational explanation.

But as Micah learns more, he starts to fear that the Lightbender, as his grandfather calls him, may not be able to provide the miracle he so desperately wants for the man he can’t imagine living without. Even so, he will do everything he possibly can to make it happen.

Circus Mirandus is about faith, magic and hope. It’s about opening your eyes to the possibilities. It’s about family, love and dedication. It’s sweet, poignant, delightful. It’s written for children, sure, but adults will be charmed as well. It’s one of those books everyone should get to read and keep on a bookshelf at home.

Rated: None. There is no language, no violence, no sexual content.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Circus Mirandus
  • by Cassie Beasley
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: