Circus Mirandus

Circus Mirandus 
By: Cassie Beasley 

The Story 

From School Library Journal

Micah Tuttle has been living with his Grandpa Ephraim since his parents died. The two are close; Grandpa Ephraim teaches Micah how to tie complicated knots and tells him fanciful tales about the magical Circus Mirandus and its many performers, including a powerful illusionist called the Lightbender. When Grandpa Ephraim becomes gravely ill, his sister, the strict Aunt Gertrudis, comes to take care of the household. She severely limits Micah's time with his sick grandfather, and the boy is distraught at the idea of losing the only important person in his life. In a stolen moment, Grandpa Ephraim surprises Micah by revealing that the Circus Mirandus is real, and that the Lightbender promised him a miracle when he was a child. Michah then begins to hope that his grandfather will get well. The Circus Mirandus arrives in town on the wind, and Micah, with the help of his classmate Jenny Mendoza, seeks out the Lightbender and tries to retrieve the miracle that Grandpa Ephraim has requested. During a whirlwind adventure in the Circus, Micah learns about his family and discovers that the miracle that Grandpa Ephraim asked for might not be the one that Micah had in mind. 


I loved the relationship between Micah and his grandfather. I was also really impressed by the world building. It in itself  & the circus is like magic. After reading this book, I can easily see why it was  star reviewed and it was on many Newbery watch lists.  It reminds me of the magic of reading the Polar Express as a child. It makes you want to believe in magic and in the impossible.


When the book ended, there were a lot of loose ends. I am told, however that there will be another book to tie up the loose ends that were left.  I can't wait to read the sequel!

Update: I waited to write this review. After waiting so long, my thoughts on this book have changed. When I first read it, I was really blown away by the world building and the circus. Normally, I hate books about grief and dying, but I liked the theme of letting go. I am really disappointed to say that I have completely forgotten most of the plot. After you finish the book, I think the magic quickly fades. I do think it is still worth reading though! I would recommend it to readers who like fantasy circus stories.

What did you think of this book? 



  1. This was decent enough, although creepy circus books don't do well in my library. Seriously, had two ARCs and could not give them away. I didn't understand the huge buzz this got, but then I usually don't!

  2. I agree. I think the world building and the description of the circus might have been part of the appeal. Even though this one wasn't my favorite, I am interested to see other works that the author puts out. I think she could be one to watch.

    Thank you for your comment,