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Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before—but then the Circus Oscuro is no ordinary circus. There's a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and when an unusual little girl with wings falls from a tower during the performance, Miles's life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on a Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before—but then the Circus Oscuro is no ordinary circus. There's a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and when an unusual little girl with wings falls from a tower during the performance, Miles's life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue two friends who have been captured at the Palace of Laughter, they discover nothing less than the power of friendship and the gift of family.


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Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before—but then the Circus Oscuro is no ordinary circus. There's a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and when an unusual little girl with wings falls from a tower during the performance, Miles's life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on a Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before—but then the Circus Oscuro is no ordinary circus. There's a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and when an unusual little girl with wings falls from a tower during the performance, Miles's life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue two friends who have been captured at the Palace of Laughter, they discover nothing less than the power of friendship and the gift of family.

30 review for The Palace of Laughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    As much as it saddens me to say this, I can't give this book as good a rating as I'd like. If it were possible to give half stars, it's really a 2 1/2 star book, and it's a shame because it started off brilliantly. Miles, the protagonist, is hiding in a barrel with a stuffed bear named Tangerine and spying on a mysterious circus. The creepy circus element had so much potential, because isn't everyone just a little bit creeped out by clowns anyway? Throw that in with the orphan boy-makes-good plo As much as it saddens me to say this, I can't give this book as good a rating as I'd like. If it were possible to give half stars, it's really a 2 1/2 star book, and it's a shame because it started off brilliantly. Miles, the protagonist, is hiding in a barrel with a stuffed bear named Tangerine and spying on a mysterious circus. The creepy circus element had so much potential, because isn't everyone just a little bit creeped out by clowns anyway? Throw that in with the orphan boy-makes-good plot line and it has at least the hint of a good story to come, but this book has too many spectacles going in too many rings. By the end of the book we've enountered lost angels, a phantom (talking) tiger, and uncovered a convoluted brainwashing scheme, not to mention a strange almost post-Apocalyptic gang of hoodlums that sound like the younger siblings of the crazy people from the Mad Max movies. It almost feels like the author felt compelled to make the book long in hopes that kids might take that into consideration along with the fanciful, colorful jacket and mistake it for a fantastical tale along the lines of a Funke or Rowling creation. The difference is, Rowling and Funke's plot twists rarely feel so gratuitous. In the end, only a forced deus ex machina moment is able to bring all of the bizarre events to something resembling a resolution, and we never do really figure out what the real story is with the tiger. There is something about the boy and his bear that moved me, but I'm afraid there's too much confusion to make it a good bedtime read-aloud (as a serial-type tale) for younger kids, and I think like older kids would be old enough to feel there's not enough payoff for the effort. It seems this is the first book of a series and I can only hope that the next installments improve on what has been begun here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Having decided to re-read the Wednesday Tales from the beginning, it was so nice to read this story after so many years. This is in fact my 4th time re-reading The Palace of Laughter, and there was so much that I’d forgotten about since my last read! I will always love this book, and it’s one that I will always recommend!

  3. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    I swear to God, I have to re-read this book. I somehow consider this one of my favorite childhood novels, but I can't even remember a thing that happened in here. Oh my! I swear to God, I have to re-read this book. I somehow consider this one of my favorite childhood novels, but I can't even remember a thing that happened in here. Oh my!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    The Palace of Laughter is my favorite kind of children's book, the kind that reminds me why I spent such a large portion of my childhood holed up in my room reading books instead of outside playing with the other kids. It is the kind that whisks the reader away to a foreign but familiar and intriguing land, which the reader promptly decides is much more interesting than her own life and so desires to spend as much time in said world as possible. Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy, so reader The Palace of Laughter is my favorite kind of children's book, the kind that reminds me why I spent such a large portion of my childhood holed up in my room reading books instead of outside playing with the other kids. It is the kind that whisks the reader away to a foreign but familiar and intriguing land, which the reader promptly decides is much more interesting than her own life and so desires to spend as much time in said world as possible. Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy, so readers who enjoy visiting the world of Miles Wednesday will have ample opportunity to return. This is the story of Miles Wednesday, a lonely orphan runaway who quite suddenly befriends a talking tiger and a tiny 400-year-old angel and whose life just as suddenly becomes entangled in that of a traveling circus. When his small orange teddy bear (brought to life by the tiny angel) wanders into the clutches of an evil circus henchman, Miles is only looking for a way to be reunited with his stuffed toy, but he ends up finding a lot more than he bargained for ... friends, family, and much-sought answers. Of course, the road to these things is filled with more than a few trials and tribulations. As an added bonus to those of us who have long since graduated elementary school, Berkeley's writing style is clever and lyrical, and I did not feel like an adult reading a child's book, but rather like an adult reading an immensely enjoyable, wonderfully entertaining, mysteriously compelling book. There are a few scenes which veer into seemingly aimless digressions, but luckily some of these puzzling interludes are resolved in the second book, The Tiger's Egg, which is also brilliant. This reader is anxiously awaiting the third and final installment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I LOVED this book. Just a good read. Why are some of the best books about orphans?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daisy Huck

    a book i remember reading when I was little. not an intellectually challenging read, but as fun and as engaging as I remember. nice to have a break from the information overload from corona, the shit of online classes, and the puppy training.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megan (inkand.imagination)

    When I picked this book up on a whim for .50 cents at a used book store, I had no idea that it would be one of the most heartwarming stories I've ever read. Diving into The Palace of Laughter, I was a little bit apprehensive because it is so unlike the books I usually read. However, once I grew accustomed to the author's writing style, I found myself immersed in a beautiful world populated with wonderful, comedic characters. The boy who is the star of the show, Miles Wednesday, is an orphan with n When I picked this book up on a whim for .50 cents at a used book store, I had no idea that it would be one of the most heartwarming stories I've ever read. Diving into The Palace of Laughter, I was a little bit apprehensive because it is so unlike the books I usually read. However, once I grew accustomed to the author's writing style, I found myself immersed in a beautiful world populated with wonderful, comedic characters. The boy who is the star of the show, Miles Wednesday, is an orphan with no clue who his family is. He lives in an old barrel, with only an orange teddy bear for company. When a strange circus rolls into town and a talking tiger visits him in the dead of night, his life begins to change. He befriends a young angel who'd been kidnapped and forced to act as a "circus freak" for the Circus Oscuro, and together they embark on a harrowing journey to not only find their missing friends, but also to find the family they'd never had before. Written in a style that I found to be somewhat reminiscent of A Series of Unfortunate Events (but in a much lighter tone), Jon Berkeley's debut novel captured my heart in a way that I was honestly not expecting. It was at times deeply moving, and at others so funny that I either had a genuine smile on my face, or found myself laughing along with the characters. Moreover, apart from having captivating heroes, this book also has interesting villains (that at times serve as the comedic relief in the story). All of these characters live in a world that is not so different from our own, and it is also incredibly rich and well developed. This novel is a part of the Julie Andrews Collection, which "encompasses books for young readers of all ages that nurture the imagination and celebrate a sense of wonder" (www.julieandrewscollection.com). I completely agree that this book does all of those things, and it's a read that I would not only recommend to my friends in my age group (twenties), but that I would also recommend for younger readers. It's the first book in a series called "The Wednesday Tales", and I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for the rest of the series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is the story of a homeless boy, Miles, escaped from the local orphanage, and a little angel named Little, whom Miles helped to escape from the circus. They are on a quest to find the angel, Silverpoint, whom Little followed to earth and whom she needs to find in order to get back home. They know that Silverpoint is at the "Palace of Laughter," but they don't know where or what that is. The story is somewhat dark. The circus people are the scary kind that give people nightmares, and they are This is the story of a homeless boy, Miles, escaped from the local orphanage, and a little angel named Little, whom Miles helped to escape from the circus. They are on a quest to find the angel, Silverpoint, whom Little followed to earth and whom she needs to find in order to get back home. They know that Silverpoint is at the "Palace of Laughter," but they don't know where or what that is. The story is somewhat dark. The circus people are the scary kind that give people nightmares, and they are dangerous, cold, and cutthroat. Although the book's intended audience is 4-7 grades, I think I'd be inclined to stick with the older end of that spectrum in buying or recommending the book to/for kids. Philosophically, I like the ideas Berkeley introduces about angels, though I don't know that I buy into all of them. It was hard for me to blend the elements of fantasy into this story in my mind (talking animals again!), but, I found that in the end I liked the way it all fit together. I think I'd like to read the next book to find out what happens to Miles next! Memorable quotes: "I am a Song Angel, and every language is an echo of the One Song, even the sigh of the wind and the groan of the mountains. Everything speaks. You just have to know how to listen." "The One Song is the music that runs at the heart of everything. It keeps the world spinning and the stars shining. Everything that exists, every insect and rock and river and flower, has a name in the One Song. Love and Sorrow, Laughter and Anger and Courage all have their places too, and they must be kept in harmony. When one of these strands is taken out from the rest, that is when bad things happen, like a rope beginning to unravel. Each Song Angel must learn a part of that song. We keep it alive and guard it, and in the end we must each add our own name to it so that the Song keeps growing and the world keeps moving along its path."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Miles Wednesday, the escaped orphan, lives in a barrel on a hill overlook the town of Larde. But that's OK, it's a large barrel, perched on its side. One night, completely unannounced, the Circus Oscuro comes to town and sets up below Miles's hill. Also making a visit is a huge tiger, who meets with Miles at the barrel and tells him (yes, I know, tells him) that he can smell a link with the circus on Miles. Smuggling himself into the space beneath the big top seats, Miles sees a young, angelic g Miles Wednesday, the escaped orphan, lives in a barrel on a hill overlook the town of Larde. But that's OK, it's a large barrel, perched on its side. One night, completely unannounced, the Circus Oscuro comes to town and sets up below Miles's hill. Also making a visit is a huge tiger, who meets with Miles at the barrel and tells him (yes, I know, tells him) that he can smell a link with the circus on Miles. Smuggling himself into the space beneath the big top seats, Miles sees a young, angelic girl, called Little, making a tumble during a balancing act. Miles can have no idea that soon he is to have to rescue Little from the Circus, and lead her on a mission to the Palace of Laughter, one that starts out as an errand to reunite Little with her friend, but soon escalates into a quest to rescue much more than one person. He telling is just a delight, from the ever-so appropriate town and personal names, to the double-barrelled adjectives that are appended to Miles's name at the start of almost every chapter. It does not concentrate on cliff-hangers as such, but the urge to read and read until the perfectly balanced ending is ever-present.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne Latham

    The Boy has been searching for a new series featuring an alienated boy since the Gregor the Overlander series ended, and The Wednesday Tales is definitely high on the list, currently running hard against May Bird. Alienated Boy with Tiger trumps Alienated Girl with Cat AND Ghost, and that is why this review is about the adventures of Miles and Little and you will have to wait another week or so for a review of May Bird and the Ever After. Miles Wednesday is an escaped, renegade orphan who lives in The Boy has been searching for a new series featuring an alienated boy since the Gregor the Overlander series ended, and The Wednesday Tales is definitely high on the list, currently running hard against May Bird. Alienated Boy with Tiger trumps Alienated Girl with Cat AND Ghost, and that is why this review is about the adventures of Miles and Little and you will have to wait another week or so for a review of May Bird and the Ever After. Miles Wednesday is an escaped, renegade orphan who lives in a barrel, does odd jobs around the town of Larde to support himself, and is the sort of nice, polite kid most of us would help out just because we admire his spirit. Sure, life is hard, and he lives in a barrel, but that's okay because he doesn't live in the local orphanage, which naturally houses the expected orphan-based laundry. Read the Amazon blurb for the actual plotline. Go ahead -- I'll wait, and rejoin you tomorrow for my bits.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Réka Kaponay

    This was one of those books that chose me instead of me choosing it. A cold Winter's afternoon brought The Palace of Laughter to my fingertips and it was the perfect read for an afternoon curled up by the fireplace with a mug of hot tea. Miles and Little are both wonderfully written characters; Jon Berkeley excels at portraying them and the murky ethos that is so intriguing in a circus tale, and he does so in a way that manages to capture a beautiful essence of lightness, with a perfect, treache This was one of those books that chose me instead of me choosing it. A cold Winter's afternoon brought The Palace of Laughter to my fingertips and it was the perfect read for an afternoon curled up by the fireplace with a mug of hot tea. Miles and Little are both wonderfully written characters; Jon Berkeley excels at portraying them and the murky ethos that is so intriguing in a circus tale, and he does so in a way that manages to capture a beautiful essence of lightness, with a perfect, treacherous balance of the dark. Little is literally a golden light that shines down into Miles' dismal life and I love the natural friendship that develops between them, as well as their hair-raising quest that starts off as simply escaping their own demons, but soon turns into a captivating story about facing them. Loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    I read all of this series, and let me tell you, it was worth the read. The story is about a boy who's last name is Wednesday (because of the day he arrived at the orphanage) and how he becomes involved with a song angel and a carnival that is complicated to say the least. On the way he meets people that are good, bad, and off putting- and learns about the parents he lost, the person he is, and the world that he lives in with all it's magic and mystery. I love that this book is a little bit scary, a I read all of this series, and let me tell you, it was worth the read. The story is about a boy who's last name is Wednesday (because of the day he arrived at the orphanage) and how he becomes involved with a song angel and a carnival that is complicated to say the least. On the way he meets people that are good, bad, and off putting- and learns about the parents he lost, the person he is, and the world that he lives in with all it's magic and mystery. I love that this book is a little bit scary, a little bit magical, and full of things that are worth thinking about in the grand sense and the small. Can people be saved? Can you share life? Is it possible to steal someone's existence? What makes a good or bad person? What does it mean when your time is up? Are you excused from right or wrong if you are "just doing your job"?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nadine Larter

    After spending two weeks on the last book I read it was kind of refreshing to finish this book in three sittings. Yes I admit that it's not the most brilliantly written book and neither is it emotionally poignant, but The Palace of Laughter is a great story and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something to tickle their "As sweet" fantasy. If you're like me and you prefer you YA fiction minus all the annoying teen angst then I reckon Jon Berkeley is an author to look out for. It might a After spending two weeks on the last book I read it was kind of refreshing to finish this book in three sittings. Yes I admit that it's not the most brilliantly written book and neither is it emotionally poignant, but The Palace of Laughter is a great story and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something to tickle their "As sweet" fantasy. If you're like me and you prefer you YA fiction minus all the annoying teen angst then I reckon Jon Berkeley is an author to look out for. It might also help to keep him in mind when you're looking for something to replace those pesky Harry Potter novels that your kids have finished reading. Cute story. Cute setting. Cute characters. That's enough for me :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley

    This is one of those books which I have had on my shelf for absolute YEARS (I'm talking 10 years easy) however with the arrival of newer more exciting books this one kept getting pushed back until when I looked at it at the end of last year and realised I had absolutely no idea what it was about. So I figured it was eventually time to pick it up or I had to get rid of it, I couldn't just keep putting it off forever. In this book we follow Miles, a young orphan who lives in a barrel. One night a This is one of those books which I have had on my shelf for absolute YEARS (I'm talking 10 years easy) however with the arrival of newer more exciting books this one kept getting pushed back until when I looked at it at the end of last year and realised I had absolutely no idea what it was about. So I figured it was eventually time to pick it up or I had to get rid of it, I couldn't just keep putting it off forever. In this book we follow Miles, a young orphan who lives in a barrel. One night a circus comes to town and his life is changed forever. He is visited at night by a tiger who intrigues him enough to visit the circus, there he meets a tiny girl called Little and his life is changed forever as they have to prevent an evil plot to overthrow the land. Ok so lets be honest, I definitely was no longer the intended age group of this book and I certainly wasn't overjoyed to be reading it (I had owned it for over 10 years). Therefore I had pretty low hopes going into this book. At the start I did struggle to get into it (I could only manage about 20 pages or so at a time which is ridiculous considering it is big text designed for teens/children) however after about 60 pages I did start getting into it and the pace did dramatically increase. The story was definitely interesting and I do think teens will love it (with rebel gangs, evil circus people and a little bit of magic thrown in). It was definitely a fun and enjoyable read however I was just a bit too old for it. I think if you enjoyed the circus element of The Night Circus then definitely pick this one up, there is a lot of backstage circus bits going on as well as an overall plot to overthrow important people in towns. There are some tense bits where you definitely think the tiger is going to eat someone or Miles is going to get caught but ultimately it is an enjoyable read. I don't want to go into too much detail without spoiling the plot. It is definitely for a younger age group (more for early teens/young children) but I think can still be enjoyed into late teens. There are a lot of circus elements in this so if you are a fan of the circus you should give this one a go. Also there is magic with talking animals and people with magic wings that allow them to fly. There is also (which I thought particularly cool) angels that control storms! I really enjoyed reading about that aspect of the book and definitely think there could be a spin off where the author goes into more detail about the world and the ins and outs of it. Overall I did enjoy the book, it was a little young for me but don't let that put you off. It can still be enjoyed by all. There are angels, talking tigers and evil people! I would recommend this book but go into it expecting lighthearted children's fun, not a serious book about a adult evil plan.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Ann

    Actually ★ ★ ★ 1/2 Miles Wednesday, orphaned, has escaped the orphanage for the 7th time & is living in a barrel when the Circus Obscuro comes to town. Meeting up w/ a very hungry magical Tiger, Miles goes down to the circus w/ a gift of bones for the Tiger, but the tiger is nowhere to be found. Sneaking inside to see the show, Miles watches as a little girl, Little, balances up high then falls, miraculously using her wings to safely alight. When Little is finished, Miles watches as she is tied up Actually ★ ★ ★ 1/2 Miles Wednesday, orphaned, has escaped the orphanage for the 7th time & is living in a barrel when the Circus Obscuro comes to town. Meeting up w/ a very hungry magical Tiger, Miles goes down to the circus w/ a gift of bones for the Tiger, but the tiger is nowhere to be found. Sneaking inside to see the show, Miles watches as a little girl, Little, balances up high then falls, miraculously using her wings to safely alight. When Little is finished, Miles watches as she is tied up & locked up. Little is a prisoner of the Circus Obscuro & will remain so as long as they have Silverpoint (an angel of sort) performing for them. Without Little, Silverpoint would desert the Circus Obscuro. Reminiscent of: "Heck", ""The Faerie Door", & "Uncommon Goods" After Miles releases Little, they set off on the long journey w/ the Tiger to find & Silverpoint & set him free. This was a very well written & for-the-most-part (some parts I skimmed) interesting book. Magic, Fantasy, Tigers, Faeries (of a sort), Angels, good people & bad people all in one story. I enjoyed the book & read in it 1 day... I'm not sure as I am up to reading book two, as this was a long story, and I skimmed a small portion of it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    denv

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I read this for the first time when I was maybe 10 or 11 and all I really remembered was that there was a tiger and a little angel girl and that she sings her song at the end as a sacrifice and that it made me cry. I just remembered that it touched me deeply. So 10 years later I finally get around to reading it again. And I'm pulling myself as deep as I can into the story, just waiting for that emotional ending. And it really didn't come atall. I just feel like so many aspects of the story could I read this for the first time when I was maybe 10 or 11 and all I really remembered was that there was a tiger and a little angel girl and that she sings her song at the end as a sacrifice and that it made me cry. I just remembered that it touched me deeply. So 10 years later I finally get around to reading it again. And I'm pulling myself as deep as I can into the story, just waiting for that emotional ending. And it really didn't come atall. I just feel like so many aspects of the story could be their own standalones, especially the strange world of the halfheads, gnats and stinkers. I'm just left feeling a little...lost. So many wonderful aspects but all thrown in together. Anyway, I'm conflicted. Because if I'd rated this book when I first read it a decade ago I'd have given it 4 or 5, but as an adult its alot more middle-of-the-road. But it's a children's book in the end. But Goodreads is for adults.... I don't know. Also what the hell was that strange shadow figure trying to lull them to their doom?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Viviana

    Miles had been left at an orphanage since birth, he did not like living there so he would live in a barrel and would work for food. One day the circus came to town and he had an encounter with a tiger who told him he smelled like circus folk. Miles decided to sneak into the circus to get more answer from the tiger. Instead of finding the tiger he found a little girl named little. Who tells him a tragic story. Miles decides to help little find her friend. On the journey to find this friend the en Miles had been left at an orphanage since birth, he did not like living there so he would live in a barrel and would work for food. One day the circus came to town and he had an encounter with a tiger who told him he smelled like circus folk. Miles decided to sneak into the circus to get more answer from the tiger. Instead of finding the tiger he found a little girl named little. Who tells him a tragic story. Miles decides to help little find her friend. On the journey to find this friend the encounter different type of people and dangers. This book would be a great read if it was written better I had a hard time getting into the story. The author over explains the scene which makes the book drag on. The characters are great but the story just fell flat for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Belyea

    Miles witnesses a girl with wings within the mysterious Circus Oscuro and leaves the comfort of his barrel in the woods to help her find a lost friend. Their journey will take them through the wondrous and dangerous as they face liars, cheats and perilous secrets and attempt to not only save the town, but stick together no matter the trial! Berkeley delivers an imaginative and heartwarming tale with this entertaining novel that will have young readers laughing and whooping the whole way through. Miles witnesses a girl with wings within the mysterious Circus Oscuro and leaves the comfort of his barrel in the woods to help her find a lost friend. Their journey will take them through the wondrous and dangerous as they face liars, cheats and perilous secrets and attempt to not only save the town, but stick together no matter the trial! Berkeley delivers an imaginative and heartwarming tale with this entertaining novel that will have young readers laughing and whooping the whole way through. Get lost in the strange and magical with this energetic adventure!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lea Germain

    This was my favorite book in elementary school, so I revisited the book to see if it still held up. And yes it does! I'll say this, you have to remember that its a kids book, so I gave a couple really solid eye rolls throughout the book over some of the scenarios. But Once you put yourself in a bit of a childlike mindset, its an incredibly enjoyable book! The writing is good, the characters are cute, and the story is interesting! This book has joined my bookshelf again and I hope one of my littl This was my favorite book in elementary school, so I revisited the book to see if it still held up. And yes it does! I'll say this, you have to remember that its a kids book, so I gave a couple really solid eye rolls throughout the book over some of the scenarios. But Once you put yourself in a bit of a childlike mindset, its an incredibly enjoyable book! The writing is good, the characters are cute, and the story is interesting! This book has joined my bookshelf again and I hope one of my little cousins will want to borrow it from me!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jane with an e

    I I were a child again, I would love this book...but as an adult I struggled to finish it, just as I struggle now to see k-dramas, their romantic nature makes me puke. It was a lovely story, very well translated in Romania and the story was not boring, quite interesting...The author had some imagination. I think I am not old enough to read fairytales again...that's sad, being an adult is sad. I love the art...it had beautiful pictures...Very cute. I I were a child again, I would love this book...but as an adult I struggled to finish it, just as I struggle now to see k-dramas, their romantic nature makes me puke. It was a lovely story, very well translated in Romania and the story was not boring, quite interesting...The author had some imagination. I think I am not old enough to read fairytales again...that's sad, being an adult is sad. I love the art...it had beautiful pictures...Very cute.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Entertaining, adventurous, fun and touching. A little dark and creepy, but a lot weirdly cool, too. I really enjoyed the characters and found myself totally engaged in this juvenile/middle grade fiction book that I randomly picked from the Goodwill book shelf because the cover intrigued me. You can't convince me that judging a book by its cover is never a good idea :) Entertaining, adventurous, fun and touching. A little dark and creepy, but a lot weirdly cool, too. I really enjoyed the characters and found myself totally engaged in this juvenile/middle grade fiction book that I randomly picked from the Goodwill book shelf because the cover intrigued me. You can't convince me that judging a book by its cover is never a good idea :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Rodriguez

    I was enjoying this book for the most part, because it was about the circus and it was a little dark. As I was getting toward the end, the book skipped from page 392 to page 25 then from page 56 to page 425. I was disappointed I couldn't read the majority of the ending, and I think I would have given the book a higher rating if I could have. I was enjoying this book for the most part, because it was about the circus and it was a little dark. As I was getting toward the end, the book skipped from page 392 to page 25 then from page 56 to page 425. I was disappointed I couldn't read the majority of the ending, and I think I would have given the book a higher rating if I could have.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Mazz

    I moved around a bunch as a child, I remember reading this as a class back in the day. My teacher actually gave me our class copy due to the fact that I was going to move, for the billionth time, before completing it. I will never forget that teacher and how much this book was comfort to me as a child during those harsh times <3

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    3.5. There were sections of this book that did indeed capture the imagination, and then there were others that felt wholly unnecessary. Most of the first half and much of the denouement could have been cut down to make the book a much more reasonable length to its target audience. Sometimes the writing style was charming and at other times it felt condescending.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie Harley

    I bought this book when I was a teenager and never read it. Decided to give it a try. I’m too old for it now, but a magic circus is always interesting, right? Eh, not so much. It was dark and weird and I never really cared that much about the characters. Am I getting heartless in my old age or did it just fall flat?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Adventure, star angels, and a mysterious orphan. Perfect for the reader who loves these piled on in a winding plot that gets more complex as the tiger appears and vanishes. Most twists are unwound by the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    R

    I give that book 2 stars Because: 1. It is very slow in the action. 2. It goes a lot into detail and descriptions. A book that has a good worldbuilding and also a good imagination, but I think it was a waste of time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samaira

    What I would consider a "light read." Not complex by any means but enough detail to paint a picture. I thoroughly enjoyed the story told and characters introduced. Look forward to reading the rest of the series! What I would consider a "light read." Not complex by any means but enough detail to paint a picture. I thoroughly enjoyed the story told and characters introduced. Look forward to reading the rest of the series!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Madelyn

    Unique and interesting

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    Hypnotic!

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