Circus Mirandus by Casey Beasley

UK Publishers - Chicken House (ISBN : 9781910002575)

An enchanting story of a grandfather and grandson’s experiences with the magical ‘Circus Mirandus’ and its main attraction, ‘The man who bends light’. The story begins with elderly grandfather Ephraim Tuttle’s impassioned plea for the fulfilment of a childhood wish offered to him many years previously by ‘The Light Bender’. The story then flows between the memories of the past and the magic of the present as grandson Micah desperately searches for a way for his grandfather’s failing health to be restored.

Circus Mirandus is a beautifully written story intertwining the magical world of the travelling circus with the sometimes harsh realities of life, war, lost love and death. At times powerfully moving, this book gently deals with some very mature topics in a way appropriate for a young reader audience of 8-12 years.

Without a doubt an inspiring classroom read as there is much to discuss and share. In Literacy - creative descriptions of what you would see at the Light Bender’s attraction, and possibly within Mr Head’s Menagerie. Perhaps persuasive writing tasks could be inspired by Victoria Starlings’ desire for bigger and better things beyond the Circus Mirandus - could she be persuaded to stay? Across the curriculum in History, a look at the impact of fathers leaving home to serve overseas during the first and second world wars and in PHSE - the appreciation of the talents and abilities of others no matter how small and the opportunity to talk about dealing with loss. Finally, it would be too irresistible not to look at the vibrancy of the circus and how it has been captured by artists over the years.

A truly magical tale- one that I cannot wait to share!