Before he becomes ""hero of the fire"", 8-year-old Paul performs another of less sensational, heroic act. He decides to leave home and get a job in order to save his family from financial ruin. Higginson's Giant Circus and Fair hires Paul to help young Mike run the merry-go-round. These new surroundings are exciting enough, but the drama gets underway the day Paul's good sense saves the animals and children from total disaster in a fire. Paul is rewarded with a large sum of money and the love and respect of all. As in so many previous books, Edward Ardizzone's softly stylized illustrations carry the plot forward and enhant the reader throughout.