Circus Mirandus, by debut author Cassie Beasley, is a book about a boy, his dying grandfather, and a magic circus. But that’s just the surface.
This book, in my opinion, is really about faith.
Like most good books, Circus Mirandus can be enjoyed on multiple levels. And on the surface level, it’s a great story. Micah Tuttle has been raised by his grandfather, Ephraim. Now, he must face his grandfather impending death. Aunt Gertrudis, who is caring for her brother and Micah, is a bitter and mean-spirited woman. But Ephraim shares a secret with Micah. He’s sent a message to The Lightbender–a magician from the magical Circus Mirandus–who owes him a miracle. Gertrudis thinks this talk of magic is ridiculous and harmful for Micah. but Micah’s faith is unshakeable. Along with his new friend Jenny Mendoza–a brainiac who is all fact, no faith–Micah won’t rest until The Lighbender grants his grandfather’s wish–a wish that Micah is certain could only mean his healing.
Beasley does a wonderful job drawing the reader into Micah’s world. His relationship with his grandfather is so tender. Micah’s own dreams, longings, and shortcomings ring so true. And Circus Mirandus’s magic does not disappoint.
What I love about Circus Mirandus
- Family–Micah and his grandfather clearly love each other. Micah respects his grandfather and trusts implicitly that he wouldn’t lie about Circus Mirandus being magic.
- Friendship–The friendship that Micah and Jenny develop is wonderful. Although they have very different outlooks, they learn to support and lean on each other. I also appreciate that there is no romantic involvement to their friendship.
- Faith–This is just my favorite aspect of this story. Circus Mirandus can only be seen by those who believe. Micah has plenty of opportunities to doubt, but he chooses to hold onto faith and hope for the circus and for his grandfather.
There is more to this story that I just can’t wait for you to experience yourself. I’d say this story is best suited for ages 9 – 12, but older kids may enjoy it as well. The print book is full of fun black and white illustrations, but the audiobook was simply wonderful.
If you enjoyed my podcast interview with Sarah Mackenzie about Fantasy, this is my newest recommendation!
I’ll add one little spoiler in the box below that some parents may want to read.
Have you read Circus Mirandus? Or would you like to recommend another book? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!
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