THE HAUNTED CIRCUS by Thomas McKean

THE HAUNTED CIRCUS

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In a weak sequel to Secret of the Seven Willows (1991), the Byram children again travel in time, restoring their amnesiac grandfather Timothy to his family and keeping beloved Bluebird Hall out of the clutches of nasty Horatio Snivell. At the behest of a spectral girl in antique dress and peculiar old Tamburlaine Furshadow, Edith and her cousins make three rescue attempts, meeting Timothy as a lad in a traveling circus and later as an adult. Though Edith fails to bring him into the present, she helps solve some burglaries (the culprit's an earlier Snivell) and saves his life during the London Blitz. She finally tracks Timothy down in her own time; Furshadow turns him back into a child and returns him to his parents in 1912. Because Edith repeatedly finds Timothy, and falls in and out of danger fairly easily, the little tension that does build seems artificial, while the plot hinges on contrivance and arbitrary ``rules.'' McKean offers an intriguing view of time as an eternal Now that is nonetheless capable of slow alteration; but when it comes to story or character development, he barely goes through the motions. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 12th, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-72998-5
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993




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