THE MYSTERIOUS CIRCUS by Jane Langton

THE MYSTERIOUS CIRCUS

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Opening with the image of a pegboard, a classic toy, Langton serves up a classic tale, interweaving fantastical elements with the familiar situation of a group of children working together to have fun and to outwit the adults who threaten their world. With her Concord, Mass. hometown as backdrop, she brings back the Hall children (introduced in 1962 in The Diamond in the Window) and a distant Indian cousin, Ananda, who arrives on a unicycle and promptly sets up a circus. At the same time sweet Matilda MacIntosh, new in town but already elected to the board of selectmen, is determined to enlist Dizzy Enterprises to build a Thoreau theme park on Millwood meadow right across the street from the Hall home. Not surprisingly, after a titanic battle between the circus animals and bulldozers, Ananda’s magical powers save the day. The timely theme, Frieda’s cell phone and Hugo’s father’s computer are nods to the present day, but the children’s world will feel to young readers like historical fiction. Although Georgie is supposed to be in sixth grade, now, she still tugs at her cousin’s sleeve. And the lovely unsupervised summer freedom that allows these children to train and perfect their circus skills is not part of today’s world. It’s a shame. Here’s hoping there are, somewhere, some children who will find the magic in this story. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 10th, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-009486-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005




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