Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Beautiful front cover where what you can see inside the hat is actually diecut out to the hardcover beneath!
Back cover, along with the book's tagline. This story makes it clear, you have to believe in magic to feel it!
A tease of the wonderful artwork on the hardcover. I love a well designed book!
Circus Mirandus is an outstanding novel and is a completely safe, appropriate read for it's middle grade target audience. Miss Beasley has achieved what we fellow writers all strive for: a wonderfully written, creative, unique, inspiring, moving book that parents can trust and kids can love.

The story centers on Micah Tuttle, a young boy who has grown up idolizing his Grandpa Ephraim and being mesmerized by the old man's tales of a magical circus that only calls to those who believe. This, of course, is Circus Mirandus. His whole life, Micah has longed to see it and thankfully, his Grandpa is able to call in a decades old favor (referred to as a miracle in the book) that will give Micah his chance. When events don't go exactly the way he's hoping, Micah takes big risks to meet the man who promised the miracle so he can persuade him to help his Grandpa. Finding the mysterious and powerful "Man Who Bends Light" or the "Lightbender" rockets Micah's life in many magnificent new directions.

I absolutely enjoyed every part of this book. It does start a little bit slowly with some mundane things like a school project that Micah just can't seem to get done.! BUT - this is fine for the target audience as kids will definitely relate to Micah's struggles. When the magic starts to roll in and Circus Mirandus comes to the forefront, the story becomes a fantastic page-turner. At one point, Micah rides down his neighborhood street...on a gigantic elephant...WITH the powerful magician called the Lightbender. Picturing themselves doing such a thing will surely delight any middle grade eager reader.

As I've said a couple times, Miss Beasley's excellent writing is sharp and there is nothing inappropriate at all. Circus Mirandus is honestly pretty much a perfect example of an ideal book for young readers. Even the look and feel of the book is meticulously beautiful in its details. Richly designed covers inside and out coupled with whimsical chapter illustrations to accompany the text really create a fully immersive experience. If you get the hardback, look forward to being "wowed" when you remove the dust cover and check out the colorful illustrations underneath. Even the edges of the paper are roughly uneven, giving the book an old, mystical feel. There don't seem to be any credits for an illustrator so I must give all respects to this truly impressive author/artist! And to the clever publishing house, of course.

The magic of Circus Mirandus will thrill and excite readers while Micah's loyalty and dedication inspires them. And the ending will bring ten-mile-wide smiles. This one is highly recommended for boys or girls, ages 8 and up. It would make a fabulous summer birthday gift!